Through the years, America has made an overall improvement in eliminating discrimination, inequality and slavery and focusing more on inclusion, equal rights, and equal opportunity. Despite a considerable improvement, there are corporations and individuals that often revert to archaic means of treating employees, creating hostile environments. Consequently, different advocacy groups and laws still remain in effect and continue to evolve to protect the citizens and non-citizens of the USA.
Overview of the EEOC’s Function One particular group that exists to protect the employee is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC “is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. (Overview, para. 1)” The EEOC is committed to holding employers accountable for benefiting from the modern day enslavement of workers from other countries.
Their job is to ensure that all workers foreign and those of the U. S. , are protected under the law and have the right to complain of such employment abuses which damage the foundation of our society. Compliance Issue and Lawsuit Background The article I chose involves a US company that trafficked over 200 Thai males to work for Global Horizons, Inc. , a Beverly Hills based farm labor contractor working alongside eight farms between 2003 and 2007. The individuals were falsely informed that they would have access to high paying jobs with temporary visas allowing them to live and work in the US.
Once here, the individuals realized this was a lie and quickly experienced harassment, abuse, intimidation, and unequal pay. The employers threatened to deport them if they complained of the mistreatment. In addition, the employees were forced to live in housing infested with rats and insects (Carter, 2011). They were forced to sleep in tight quarters and some didn’t even have a bed. The Thai workers had all of their identification removed from their possession; the employees were left defenseless.
Eventually, the Thai Community Development Center of Los Angeles brought victims to the EEOC to file charges of discrimination. The EEOC argued that Global Horizons engaged in a pattern or practice of national origin and race discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, which violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (EEOC, 2011). The EEOC sought back pay, compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of the victims, as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent further abuses at the companies and farms.
This would uncover the cruel actions by Global Horizons and the farms for which they were employing these individuals. These farms, such as Del Monte Fresh Produce and Green Acre Farms, suffered reputation scrutiny and possible loss of profit after such discoveries. The EEOC’s Role The EEOC’s role in this lawsuit was to hold the employer accountable for benefiting from modern day enslavement so that companies could be aware of the ramifications of conducting such business.
The EEOC first attempted to reach a pre-litigation settlement, and then filed the lawsuit in the U. S. District Court for the District of Hawaii. After no success, the EEOC quickly filed lawsuits in the U. S. District Court for the District of Hawaii and the U. S. District Court of the Eastern District of Washington. Social Impact This type of lawsuit promotes social change by making companies aware of the repercussions expected if such behavior is conducted in the United States towards citizens or non-citizens.
Human trafficking is a modern day form of slavery and while it still continues to exist in modern business America, it is imperative that companies are made aware of the consequences they may subjected to should they choose to engage in such tactics. These types of lawsuits also promote healthy laws and advocate groups pushing for tougher laws so that employers cannot get away with such atrocities. It also makes employees aware of similar environments where they can quickly recognize if they find themselves in similar situations and who to go to for help.
Businesses will do whatever it takes to make higher profits and quite often, they turn to illegal conduct thinking they may get away without consequence. Article Comparison In reviewing my article, I also compared it to an article from the internet published by CNN. Both articles seemed to have similarities by providing the same details and information as discussed in the EEOC article. After searching through several other articles, most included the same information as that provided by the EEOC. Management Perspective If I were a senior manager of Global Horizons, Inc. I would place tighter requirements upon hiring individual to conduct the contracting work. I would consider placing those individuals in the contracting positions in training classes to make them aware of what to do in the event they are faced with this type of situation. Because of the nature of the business involving labor work, I would enforce tighter regulations, initiate reviews, monitoring and would become more involved to avoid mistreatment of individuals. Managers and supervisors would be required to attend courses that stress inclusion, diversity, and harassment.
All other employees would be required to attend the same courses, but these courses would also include information on how to report violations. Conclusion I believe that members of management from Global Horizons chose to keep quiet to reap the benefits of cheap labor. There is no excuse to have such behavior in today’s society after all the issues we have all faced as a country. Some improvement has been achieved but it is evident that there is more to be accomplished. Thanks to groups such as the EEOC, citizens and non-citizens can rest assured that there is protection available in the event of mistreatment.
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