The U.S. Secretary of Labor, Elaine L. Chao, recently addressed a group of women in the construction trade, with consequences for women in the industry across the nation. Chao appeared at the Augusta, Maine annual trade show for the National Association of Women in Construction.
Every employer is aware that discrimination is illegal under both federal and Georgia discrimination laws. Yet, women are still very poorly represented in the construction trades. The purpose of the event is to prevent and address discrimination in the construction industry.
Secretary Chao is the first Asian American woman to serve as a cabinet secretary. She leads the Department of Labor, which employs a record number of Asian Pacific Americans. Chao has served in that position longer than any other Secretary of Labor since the Eisenhower Administration. She is the second longest-serving woman in the position. The longest-serving
Since 1950, the average tenure of a Secretary of Labor has been about 3 years. Of the 24 U.S. Secretaries of Labor, six have been women. Five of those six have been appointed since 1987. The longest serving U.S. Secretary of Labor was Frances Perkins, a woman whose 12 year tenure was made possible because Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to four terms as president.
Chao used the appearance to flog one of her favorite causes, the defeat of the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as H.R. 800 in the House and S.1041 in the Senate. The pending bill would streamline voting in unionization elections, making it easier for employees to vote a union in. Under this new bill, if 51% of workers completed signature cards in favor of a union, the usually secret balloting would be eliminated and the employees would automatically be represented by a union.
Critics argue that Chao’s stance, which echoes that of the Bush Administration, is anti-union. According to Chao, “This administration is fighting to protect workers’ access to private ballot elections.” The Secretary adds, “A worker’s right to a private ballot election is fundamental in our democracy and should not be legislated away by special interest groups.” Chao added, “Congress is on the verge of passing a bill that effectively takes away a worker’s ability to vote on unionization in a private ballot election.”
If you are an employee in Georgia you should know that there are laws in place to protect you from harassment and discrimination on the job. There are federal laws in place and many states have also come up with their own standards and definitions of what constitutes discrimination. Generally when it comes to employment it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. This applies to all areas of employment including, but not limited to: hiring and firing, recruitment, testing or training of employees or potential employees, and payment of wages or fringe benefits.
In my research on discrimination practices I found there are a few areas that Georgia (GA) job discrimination law in the workplace specifically addressed. Some are federal laws alone that are just enforced by the state and others are state specific. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits any adverse employment action by employers of 15 or more employees, employment agencies, and labor organizations on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Women who are affected should be treated the same for all employment-related purposes. The Equal Pay Act and Georgia (GA) job discrimination law in the workplace forbid employers to pay different wages to men and women who are performing equal jobs. Georgia law provides it is a misdemeanor to discriminate in hiring and employment against individuals between the ages of 40 and 70.
The Georgia Equal Employment for People with Disabilities Code, The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 all protect disabled workers from discrimination in the workplace. There are no laws in Georgia prohibiting discrimination against employees based on their sexual orientation. Georgia (GA) job discrimination law in the workplace also makes it illegal for employers to retaliate against their employees for asserting their rights to be free of discrimination.