EEOC Paper & Presentation Essay

EEOC Paper & Presentation Essay.

EEOC Paper & Presentation Essay

EEOC Paper and Presentation



            The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (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, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information. It is also illegal to discriminate against a person because the person complained about discrimination, filed a charge of discrimination, or participated in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit. / EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.(EEOC – U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2016)

            J.C. Witherspoon, Jr. Inc., an Alcolu, S.C. based logging company, violated federal law when it failed to provide reasonable accommodations to a worker when it refused to accommodate a truck driver’s religious belief and fired him because of his observance of Hebrew Pentecostal religion on the Sabbath.  According to the EEOC suit, Leroy Lawson was a devote Hebrew Pentecostal for 35 years and observes the Sabbath, which is observed from sunset on Friday and ends at sunset on Saturday.  When Mr. Lawson was hired in March 2012 he informed the company at that time that he observed the Sabbath on Saturday and would need reasonable accommodation not to work on Saturday due to his religion.  Obviously, the company must have agreed because they hired him.  In December of 2013 Mr. Lawson was fired because he failed to work on a Saturday.

            “The EEOC has the authority to investigate charges of discrimination against employers who are covered by the law. Their role in an investigation is to fairly and accurately assess the allegations in the charge and then make a finding. If they find that discrimination has occurred, they will try to settle the charge. If they aren’t successful, they have the authority to file a lawsuit to protect the rights of individuals and the interests of the public and litigates a small percentage of these cases. When deciding to file a lawsuit, the EEOC considers several factors such as the strength of the evidence, the issues in the case, and the wider impact the lawsuit could have on the EEOC’s efforts to combat workplace discrimination.”(EEOC – U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2016)

            The role of the EEOC in this discrimination case was to file a law suit on behalf of Mr. Lawson because J. C. Witherspoon, Jr. Inc., failed to make reasonable accommodation for Mr. Lawson’s religious belief, which violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, that requires employers to make reasonable accommodations to sincerely held religious beliefs of employees absent undue hardship.  “The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, Columbia Division (EEOC v. J. C. Witherspoon, Jr. Inc., Civil Action No. 2:17-cv-00745-DCN-MGB)” (EEOC – U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2016) after trying to reach a settlement through mediation.

            I don’t know if this law suit will promote social change since the law already existed in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the company still violated that law.  “The EEOC provides leadership and guidance to federal agencies on all aspects of the federal government’s equal employment opportunity program. EEOC assures federal agency and department compliance with EEOC regulations, provides technical assistance to federal agencies concerning EEO complaint adjudication, monitors and evaluates federal agencies’ affirmative employment programs, develops and distributes federal sector educational materials and conducts training for stakeholders, provides guidance and assistance to the Administrative Judges who conduct hearings on EEO complaints, and adjudicates appeals from administrative decisions made by federal agencies on EEO complaints.”  (EEOC – U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2016)

            According to the, it states that “Lawson was hired by J.C. Witherspoon in March 2012, at which time he told them about his religious adherence to the Sabbath. He asked for a reasonable accommodation that he not be scheduled to work on Saturdays. The company refused the request and then terminated his employment after he refused to show up for work on Saturdays.”  The difference in this article and the EEOC makes it look like one day he just asked to be off on a Saturday and the company refused.  When the actual EEOC overview of the case states that when Mr. Lawson was hired he asked for reasonable accommodation because of his religious belief and the company must have agreed because they hired him, but in 2013 he was terminated because he didn’t show up for work on a Saturday.  I believe the news reports the things that they think people are interested in and they verify their stories, but there might be small discrepancies.

            The strategies that I would implement if I were in senior management of a company would incorporate the best practices from the EEOC to make sure that the right of all employees are not violated.  These are some of the best practices from the EEOC itself,“Employers should inform employees that they will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the employees’ religious practices. ♦ Employers should train managers and supervisors on how to recognize religious accommodation requests from employees. ♦ Employers should consider developing internal procedures for processing religious accommodation requests. ♦ Employers should individually assess each request and avoid assumptions or stereotypes about what constitutes a religious belief or practice or what type of accommodation is appropriate. ♦ Employers and employees should confer fully and promptly to the extent needed to share any necessary information about the employee’s religious needs and the available accommodation options. ♦ An employer is not required to provide an employee’s preferred accommodation if there is more than one effective alternative to choose from.  An employer should, however, consider the employee’s proposed method of accommodation, and if it is denied, explain to the employee why his proposed accommodation is not being granted. ♦ Managers and supervisors should be trained to consider alternative available accommodations if the particular accommodation requested would pose an undue hardship.   ♦ When faced with a request for a religious accommodation which cannot be promptly implemented, an employer should consider offering alternative methods of accommodation on a temporary basis, while a permanent accommodation is being explored.   In this situation, an employer should also keep the employee apprised of the status of the employer’s efforts to implement a permanent accommodation.”(EEOC – U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2016)


            No matter what a person’s race, religion, gender, age, disability or sexual preference they should be afforded the same opportunities across the board.  The reason that laws were put into place was to keep employers from discriminating against employees that fall under this law.  Everyone is created equal and should have equal opportunities as such.


“Overview.” About the EEOC – U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.


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