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Employee Treatment in the Workplace Essay

Pages:6 (1926 words)



Topic:Workplace Discrimination

Document Type:Essay


Fair treatment of workers is a priority for any employee given that it is a right guaranteed by the Constitution and protected by labor laws. Since this right is protected by the Constitution and existing federal and state laws, employers face the need to establish work settings and procedures the ensure all employees are treated in a fair and equal manner. Existing labor laws protect employees from discrimination, unfair treatment, retaliation, and other work-related issues. For this large company, making business decisions in consideration of employment protections is essential toward ensuring fair treatment of employees. The significance of fair treatment of all employees in this large company with respect to applicable federal antidiscrimination laws, federal health and safety laws, and state laws is discussed.

Recent Federal Legislative Protections/Laws

Workplace discrimination is a term used to refer to any practice or procedures in the working environment that seek to segregate an individual or group based on their unique attributes from other individuals. According to Jennings (2018), workplace discrimination incorporates “disparate treatment, disparate impact, and pattern or practice of discrimination” (p.731). These three concepts were the premise for initial federal laws enacted to protect employees against discrimination. Federal anti-discrimination laws or legislative protections were initially enacted to prevent discrimination on the basis of age, race, ethnicity, color, gender or disability. These laws alongside state laws have played a critical role in safeguarding employees from discriminatory patterns or practices in the workplace.

For this large company, protection against discrimination is a critical step toward promoting and ensuring fair treatment of all employees. This would require establishing workplace policies that enhance fairness and equal treatment of all workers. Such policies should be enacted in line with existing federal and state laws/legislative protections. One of the recent legislation that helps to protect employees from workplace discrimination is Equal Pay Act, which is a federal law that prohibits disparity in payment of employees (Macgillivray, Beecher & Golden, 2010). The legislation prohibits payment of employees of one gender different wages from another when the jobs entail significantly similar skills, responsibility, and effort (Jennings, 2018). As a result, this law prohibits gender-based wage discrimination as it seeks to promote gender equality in the workplace. This anti gender-based wage discrimination law focuses on gender segregation within industries and occupations. An employer can use a factor other than sex to establish employee pay consistently with this law. In Rizo v. Yovino, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that other factors other than sex can be used to set employee pay in a manner consistent with the law as long as they are legitimate job-related factors (Mello, 2019).

The second federal legislation that safeguards against workplace discrimination is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which was enacted in 1967 to safeguard against age-based discrimination. It prohibits age-based discrimination for employees over 40 years and compulsory retirement restrictions. Additionally, the legislation prohibits employers from hiring, promotion, firing, raising salaries and benefits because of age. Prohibition of age-based discrimination as shown in ADEA was highlighted in Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that age was the but-for-cause of the challenged adverse action taken by the employer (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, n.d.).

When federal legislature conflicts with State laws, the federal law preempts or displaces state law based on the doctrine of preemption and Supremacy Clause of the Constitution unless the federal law is unconstitutional. In such instances, a federal court may require the state to cease particular behavior that conflicts or interferes with the federal law.


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…resources required to participate in the compensation system (Patronis, 2011). Florida laws differ with federal immigration law relating to employment and compensation of undocumented immigrants. Based on Florida laws (Fla. Stat. 440.02), undocumented immigrants are entitled to receive remuneration for their work regardless whether they are legally or illegally employed. This differs from federal immigration law that prohibits employment and compensation of undocumented immigrants. Secondly, contrary to federal immigration law, Florida laws state that injured undocumented workers are eligible for benefits.

Even though immigration remains a major issue in the United States, undocumented workers should be eligible for workers’ compensation and benefits are reflected in many state laws. The practice should continue in order to protect undocumented immigrants from discrimination and/or exploitation by unscrupulous employers. Currently, some employers capitalize on existing loopholes in the law to benefit from cheap labor from undocumented workers. Some employers flag undocumented workers and aid their arrest and deportation when they suffer legitimate workplace injuries (Grabell & Berkes, 2018). In Florida, lawmakers are considering a recent bill that seeks to stop arrest of injured undocumented workers. Such legal protections would help protect undocumented workers from exploitation by promoting their fair treatment in the workplace.

In conclusion, fair treatment of employees in the workplace remains a major issue in the labor force. Federal and state laws have been enacted to help enhance the protection of employees against unfair treatment. Existing legal protections range from federal anti-discrimination laws to federal health and safety laws, and state laws. Employers are required to formulate policies and adopt practices that are consistent with existing federal and state laws that promote fair treatment of employees in the workplace. The failure to comply with existing laws could result in lawsuits on various issues including discrimination and wrongful termination. Therefore, fair treatment…

Sample Source(s) Used


Coble, C. (2015, June 11). Can Undocumented Immigrants Get Workers’ Comp? Retrieved March 12, 2020, from

Grabell, M. & Berkes, H. (2018, February 7). Florida Bill Seeks to Stop Arrests of Injured Immigrant Workers. National Public Radio. Retrieved March 12, 2020, from

Jennings, M. (2018). Business: Its Legal, Ethical, and Global Environment (11th ed.). Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

Lenard, P.M. (1987). Unjust Dismissal of Employees at Will: Are Disclaimers a Final Solution? Fordham Urban Law Journal, 15(2), 533-565.

Lindsay, D.C. & Moore, L.M. (2011). State and Federal Leave Laws: How Recent Legislative Changes Have Complicated Leave Administration. Employment Relations Today, 38(1), 77-90.

Macgillivray, E.D., Beecher, H.J.M. & Golden, D. (2010, December). Legal Developments – Recent Action, Federally and in the Workplace. Global Business and Organizational Excellence, 73-81.

Mello, J.A. (2019, August 9). Why the Equal Pay Act and Laws Which Prohibit Salary Inquiries of Job Applicants Can Not Adequately Address Gender-Based Pay Inequity. SAGE Open, 9(3),

Muhl, C.J. (2001, January). The Employment-at-will Doctrine: Three Major Exceptions. Monthly Labor Review, 3-11. Retrieved from Bureau of Labor Statistics website:

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