More often than not there are both federal and state regulations in place to monitor and enforce discrimination in the workplace. Employees should be able to work in a non-hostile environment and be free from harassment or discrimination. Most states have established their own rules about what is acceptable behavior and what constitutes unlawful employment practices. Usually there is a state agency you could go to with questions or a complaint about harassment. Some states however, do not. Arkansas is one such state.
Anti-discrimination law in Arkansas is generally based on federal statutes. A minimum of 20 employees applies to be covered under federal law. Rights under the Arkansas Civil Rights Act are enforced by private lawsuit and workers who have been discriminated against should see a private attorney. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces rights under the federal Civil Rights Act. Federal law makes it illegal to treat employees differently because of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, or disability. Pregnant workers are also protected from discrimination by law. Workers can also not be denied a job, or terminated because they are a member or are not a member of a labor union. These laws apply to not only employers but also employment agencies and labor organizations as well. Any attempt to sway or otherwise encourage each other to practice discrimination, such as with job postings or limited membership on the basis of race, age, sex, religion or national origin would be considered unlawful under Arkansas (AR) job discrimination law in the workplace and could result in disciplinary action.
You may also be interested to know; especially with harassment and discrimination being such a hot topic lately that Arkansas does not have a law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. Arkansas (AR) job discrimination law in the workplace through recent legislation prohibits public employers to discriminate on the basis of age. Those covered under this law are over age 40 and younger than age 70.
Arkansas has adopted a set of state laws that reinforce the federal mandates regarding discrimination in the workplace. In Arkansas, at both the federal and state level, it is unlawful to discriminate against an employee based on many things, including religion. This originates at the federal level in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The actual federal law protects employees from discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”
Specifically in Arkansas, the Arkansas Civil Rights Act protects workers from religious and other forms of discrimination. Unlike other states, however, Alabama does not pursue investigations or prosecutions of religious discrimination. Cases of discrimination are pursued only privately in civil courts, and Arkansas advises individuals who feel they have a claim to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney.
As far as what actually constitutes religious discrimination, there is not any variation from federal guidelines. In Arkansas, as well as the rest of the nation, there can not be any financial or social penalties for religious beliefs, or lack there of. For example, a manager can not withhold a raise or promotion because of church membership. If other employees are allowed to wear hats or caps, a hijab can not be restricted. Taunting, ridicule, or any other actions that create a hostile work environment due to another’s religion are also strictly prohibited.
On the flip-side, employees must act professionally in regards to religion. If they feel they are entitled to a religious holiday that is not already on the company calendar, they should work with management to find coverage for their hours if necessary. Some faiths prohibit paying union dues, in which case an agreement should be reached to pay an equal amount to charity, or to pay an amount with the offensive items removed. In short, religion should be treated just as race or gender, with utmost professionalism.
The Arkansas Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on race, religion, ancestry or national origin, gender, and physical or mental disability.
Additionally, the Arkansas Fair Housing Commission is empowered to receive, investigate, conciliate and/or otherwise resolve complaints alleging violations of the Arkansas Fair Housing Act which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status (including children under the age of 18 living with parents of legal custodians, pregnant women (and people securing custody of children under the age of 18) and handicap (disability); cooperate with and provides technical and other assistance to federal, state, local and other public or private entities that are formulating or operating programs to prevent or eliminate discriminatory housing practices; and establish an education and outreach program to prevent discriminatory housing practices.
Since Arkansas has no civil/human rights enforcement agency, rights under the Arkansas Civil Rights Act are enforced by private lawsuit. Workers who have been discriminated against should see a private attorney.
It is always best to contact your local Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) promptly when discrimination is suspected. All laws enforced by EEOC, except the Equal Pay Act, require filing a charge with EEOC before a private lawsuit may be filed in court. There are strict time limits within which charges must be filed. Not filing the charge within the deadline may result in losing your right to bring action in Federal Courts.
Just because the EEOC helps you file a charge of discrimination does not mean it meets all legal requirements. Since in Alabama your complaints go directly into the federal system, there may be in even more reason to consult an attorney as soon as you feel you are being discriminated against.
Title 11 of Arkansas Department of Labor Laws and Regulations covers the employment discrimination, though it does not mention anything about gays of sexual orientation. Arkansas is not one of states which currently cover public or private employment with specific sexual orientation discrimination laws.
In these cases, Arkansas does not have specific regulations handling claims brought against private companies. The EEOC will still handle cases made against these private employers. Like the Federal anti-discrimination laws, Arkansas law allows for only the individual claimant’s immediate supervisor can be sued personally for harassment claims in the workplace.
In a recent Gallup poll, Americans strongly favored equal opportunity for gays and lesbians in the workplace. The purpose of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, also known as ENDA, which is the first federal law to be proposed, would be to protect Americans who are fired or penalized due solely to their sexual preference.
Intentional employment discrimination, as covered by the Civil Rights Act of 1991, could result in monetary damages and other penalties for some cases. Anyone, whether or not he or she can file under the state’s laws, may file an EEOC claim. However, preference and case handling is generally given to the state or locality if there are regulations in place.
Suits brought against employers must be filed in a timely-fashion, generally within one year, but has different interpretations depending on a number of qualifications, including those being filed under class action procedures. It is important to know your rights under the existing Arkansas laws, while staying abreast of pending legislative actions in both state and Federal arenas.
Arkansas doesn’t allow any workers to be discriminated against while in the workplace. No one can be treated badly or denied a job because of race, religion, sex, national origin, age, or disability. In fact, Arkansas employers are required to display Arkansas state discrimination posters outlining the state and federal laws that grant the rights of employees not to be victims of discrimination.
Arkansas and federal laws make it illegal for any worker to be discriminated against in the workplace. No one can be discriminated against in any way. A worker can’t be fired, denied a job, harassed, demoted, or denied any other rights afforded to them. Also, anyone who files a claim against an employer can’t be discriminated against for filing the claim.
The law also protects women who are pregnant. Pregnant women are protected from discrimination and harassment. They can’t be fired from their job, lose their job while on maternity leave, or be a victim in any other way because of their pregnancy. Also, workers can’t be discriminated against because they are or aren’t a member of a union. Workers rights are guaranteed by the Arkansas Civil Rights Act. Rights are enforced by victims filing a private lawsuit.
People who are disabled in Arkansas can’t be denied employment because of their disability. If reasonable accommodations can be made, an employer must make the accommodations. This doesn’t mean that a disabled person must receive preferential treatment but they must be given a reasonable opportunity to succeed. Employers are not allowed to question someone about a disability while interviewing for a position.
All Arkansas employers are required to post the federal and state laws regarding discrimination. These laws must be displayed by hanging Arkansas state discrimination posters in an area where all employees can see them. Failure to post the laws correctly can result in penalties and/or fines for the employer.