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Against The Tide

In today's business world no matter if you are a police officer, a janitor, a cashier or factory worker there still remains the hard cold reality that employers do take advantage of employees all across the workforce spectrum. Not only take advantage but outright discriminate as their justification to squeeze as much productivity out of an employee as they possibly can. The victims most of whom are women, especially pregnant women, minorities, and so many other lower wage workers have all been used as pawns by employers. One would have thought that the business climate in America would have evolved to a point that such behavior by employers would have been almost non existent but, sadly though there have been more cases before the EEOC of employee discrimination of every type from age to pregnancy every year.

In Florida home to so many senior citizens the EEOC has been swamped with age discrimination cases. The trend for employee based discrimination has been accelerating but, what many employers don't even realize is that the cases brought before the EEOC have a very negative effect on the business bottom line. When employers have been increasingly invoked policies that are a blatant violation of the rights of employees shows just how callous, unsympathetic and dictatorial too many businesses have become.

One example that shows just how high the costs to business is we have to look at Florida's increasing number of pregnancy discrimination cases. Back in 1997 pregnancy discrimination costs were tipping over $6 million. Today, the costs have jumped to over $17.5 million. Nation wide the costs are so staggering that businesses ought to be very mindful of how they issue policies knowing that they would be in violation of basic employee rights. Yet, today the trend of business is to invoke decisions and policies that have only instigated more discrimination cases. And, as such have cut into business profitability and productivity as well.

The rational behind this staggering number of discrimination cases has been evolving for quite some time. Instead of invoking policies where compassion and sympathy are displayed quite the contrary is the harsh reality of today's business climate. It seems that the United States is one of the last vestiges of corporate Neanderthals when it concerns women in the workplace.

It is not only women that are in the front lines of discrimination suits brought against employers but men too have been brutally and savagely forced into situations where they are victims of employer infringements upon their basic rights as employees. Take the case of one Horace Man. A middle age machinist with over 20 years experience. After years of repetitive work Horace began feeling sharp back spasms. Deciding that the pain was becoming unbearable Horace went and told his supervisor that he was injured. Thinking that his job would be safe he was told to go immediately to the companies backed outpatient clinic. Once there he was told that a drug test was to be performed. It just occurred to Horace that it was company policy that any time when an employee gets hurt on the job they have to immediately undergo a drug test. If it came back that there were traces of any drug that employee would be immediately fired. One has to wonder if the state of Florida passes the legalization of marijuana how long will it take for employers that have a no tolerance policy to drugs to change if an employee who just happens to get injured and undergoes a drug test that comes back positive?

You can bet your bottom dollar that these employers will terminate more employees just because of their reluctance to change. Another factor today is employers are constantly seeking ways to terminate higher paid long term employees with younger individuals knowing they can pay substantially lower wages. In Horace's case a quiet awareness that he too would become victim of discrimination. Now, that he was injured through no negligence on his part but just because of years of doing the same type of repetitive work day after day the human factor inevitably comes into play. Instead of being offered a position within the company that would reduce the chances of repetitive work and reoccurring injuries Horace when he went back to work was told his services were no longer required. At the age of 59 Horace's chances of landing work with the salary he was used to today is virtually impossible.

What so many employers are doing in trying to increase that all too important bottom line have shown no regard or sympathy toward too many employees. Instead employees are just necessary instruments in which an employer uses. To increase the profitability all too often longer term employees are weeded out to make room for younger less experienced ones knowing full well that these novice employees will work for far less wages than their predecessors. In doing so employers today all too frequently devise ways to terminate workers that have trouble abiding company policies that very often change according to the whims of management. But, as a result more and more discrimination cases are being brought before the EEOC.

One has to wonder just how much longer before employers realize that their company policies so often come in conflict with the regulations concerning employee rights in the workplace. And, too often more than not these workers who have a legitimate claim that their employer violated certain employee rights that employers bottom line will suffer as a result. It is time employers all across the country use allot more humility, compassion and good old common sense when it comes to their employees. Just maybe then the whole economy will improve.