Pepsi Beverages, a Minneapolis-based bottler of the cola many Detroit readers enjoy, has announced that will pay over $3 million to settle claims that it engaged in racial discrimination as it hired new employees, the upper Midwest branch of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced this week.
Around this time of year, many employers throw holiday parties for their employees. Although social activities like this are a nice gesture, it should go without saying they cannot and should not be a basis for making employees feel discriminated against if they choose not to participate.
As readers in Detroit probably know, a great many people are out of work these days. These people face a double-barreled problem. First, there are not that many jobs to go around. Second, after an unemployed person finds a job, he or she might face a bias against people who are or have been out of work. While this practice has not yet been made explicitly illegal, arguments to categorize it as unacceptable discrimination are growing ever louder.
Readers in Detroit know, of course, that when they apply for a job, they are evaluated on the application materials they submit, such as a cover letter and resume. But what about other information that is readily available to employers? In this age of social networking and the privacy-is-dead Internet, there is a so much out there that employers can easily access, whether the applicant wants that information to be found or not. But is that content fair game, or would making a call on that information constitute unlawful discrimination? The answer, always, is "it depends."
The body of U.S. employment law was drafted with an eye towards protecting employees. Jobs are vital to everyone's well-being, of course, and our society would suffer if people were dismissed capriciously or for taking steps like reporting harassment.
With the poor economy still flailing, many people in Michigan and elsewhere are unemployed. Unfortunately, that may count against them as they look for new jobs, according to a study recently released by an advocacy group.