"Reasonable Accommodating and Work-Life Conflicts"
Reasonable Accommodating and Work-Life Conflicts
In the recent past, Verizon is one of the major companies in the US that have suffered from failing to adhere to the reasonable accommodation requirements. The company was in 2011 sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for failing to institute reasonable accommodation requirements when disciplining or firing employees due to chargeable absences. The EEOC held that the company’s policy that stipulated that it was under “no fault” regarding any disciplinary action taken against employees over attendances. As much as companies can formulate their own policies and affect them, they are required to adhere to the reasonable accommodation requirement particularly involving the disabled employees amongst the rest. Overlooking this legality can have costly repercussions as Verizon found out. The company was forced to pay $20 million and other remedial measures in order to fully settle a class action disability lawsuit on discrimination (“Level Access,” 2011). This punitive settlement by Verizon is the single largest in EEOC history involving failure to incorporate reasonable accommodation.
The company should have approached the matter differently. In deciding to punish workers for their absences, the company should have considered that some of the absences were due to the natural reasons. For instance, some of the disabled persons would fail to attend work due to reasons purely related to their disability. As such, the company should have had more lenient measures when dealing with such employees. This situation was worsened by the fact that some of the employees were fired for not attending or even being late for work which counted amongst the counts for chargeable absences. This meant that the disabilities that the employees had were not taken into account when exerting such punitive measures which goes against the spirit and essence of reasonable accommodation in the workplace as prescribed in the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Diveeva, Kharitonov & Nogajlieva, 2016). This situation could have been avoided had the company adhered to the guidelines within the reasonable accommodation framework.
The LGBT group is not new in the American society. Despite it reluctant acceptance in the American society and by extension the entire world, the group still faces some work life challenges. One of the biggest challenge they face is that they can be fired for simply being who they are. This is possible as there is no federal law yet in the United States that directly protects the rights LGBT. The lack of sexual orientation laws in 28 states means that members of this group can be fired for being themselves (Clark & Herbert, 2017). On top of this lack of federal law protection, there is no gender-identity protection for the LGBT employees on state level. This therefore means that employees can still be fired in the states for being transgender.
The second challenge faced by members of the LGBT group is that of lack of equal hiring opportunities. In fact, it has been established that transgender people face three times more challenges than their colleagues in the LGBT group. It has been established in a Catalyst report that 27% of transgender population were not hired or were fired as well as failing to land deserved promotions in 2015 (“Catalyst,” 2017). Inequality adopted by employers when dealing with transgender individuals has worsened leading sexual harassment or mistreatments in the work place of up to 80% of all transgender individuals working in United States. As noted above, there are no sexual orientation or gender identity laws on state level. In fact, most of the ...