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State of Indiana Civil Rights Commission

State of Indiana Civil Rights Commission

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State of Indiana Civil Rights Commission

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  1. State of Indiana Civil Rights Commission EMPLOYMENTLAW

  2. Applicable Laws • Indiana Civil Rights Act • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

  3. Indiana an “at will” state • Indiana follows the common law doctrine which dictates that employment relationships are “at will,” rather than for a fixed term • Employers may terminate the employee at any time for any reason, or no reason at all • Exemptions include: employment discrimination, retaliation and violations of Indiana’s public policy

  4. Protected Classes • Race • Religion • Color • Sex • Disability • National Origin • Ancestry

  5. Who is covered? • Any person employing six (6) or more persons within the state • Federal coverage required fifteen (15) or more people • An employee does not include any individual employed: • By his parents, spouse or child • In the domestic service of any person

  6. Exceptions • Some entities are specifically exempt from the Indiana Civil Rights Act: • A nonprofit corporation or association organized exclusively for fraternal or religious purposes • Any school, educational, or charitable religious institution owned or conducted by or affiliated with a church or religious institution • Any exclusive social club, corporation, or association that is not organized for profit

  7. Coverage Areas • The Indiana Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination in all areas of employment including: • Hiring and firing • Compensation, assignment, or classification • Transfer, promotion, layoff or recall • Job advertisement • Recruitment • Testing • Use of company facilities • Training and apprenticeship programs • Fringe benefits • Pay, retirement plans and disability leave • Other terms and conditions of employment

  8. Discriminatory Practices • Harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or ancestry • Retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices • Employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits or performance of individuals of a protected class • Denying employment opportunities to a person because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a protected class

  9. Discrimination Prohibited • The Act prohibits not only intentional discrimination, but also practices that have the effect of discriminating against individuals because of their membership to a protected class.

  10. National Origin • It is illegal to discriminate against an individual because of birthplace, ancestry, culture, or linguistic characteristics common to a specific ethnic group • A rule requiring that employees ONLY speak English • Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 • Requires employers to assure that employees hired are legally authorized to work in the United States. • Does not allow employers to request employment verification from just one national origin. It must be collected from everyone!

  11. National Origin (con.) • Accent discrimination • An employer may not base a decision on an employee’s foreign accent unless the accent materially interferes with job performance • English fluency • A fluency requirement is only permissible if required for the effective performance of the position for which it is imposed • English-only rules • Must be adopted for nondiscriminatory reasons. This rule may be used if it is needed to promote the safe or efficient operation of the business • Coverage of undocumented workers • The Commission interprets the Act to prohibit discrimination against individuals employed in Indiana, regardless of citizenship

  12. Retaliation • An employer may not fire, demote, harass or otherwise “retaliate” against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in a discrimination proceeding, or otherwise opposing discrimination (Title VII only)

  13. Religion Discrimination • Employers may not treat employees or applicants more or less favorably because of their religious beliefs—except to accommodate • Employers cannot refuse to hire people of a certain religion, impose stricter promotion requirements or different work requirements • Employees cannot be forced to participate—or not participate—in a religious activity

  14. Religious Accommodation • Employers must provide reasonable accommodations to employees’ sincerely held religious practices • Unless doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employer • Accommodations can include: • Adjustment to work schedule • Reassignments and lateral transfers • Modification of grooming assignments

  15. Undue Hardship • An employer is not required to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs if doing so would impose an undue hardship on the employers’ legitimate business interests • More than ordinary administrative costs • Diminishes efficiency of other jobs/employees • Impairs workplace safety • Conflicts with another law or regulation

  16. Sex Discrimination • Sexual Harassment- practices ranging from direct requests for sexual favors to workplace conditions that create a “hostile environment” for persons of either gender • Hostile environment standard also applies to harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry and disability

  17. Sex Discrimination (con.) • Pregnancy Based Discrimination- Pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions must be treated in the same way as other temporary illnesses or conditions • Additional rights are available to parents and others under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which is enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor. For information about FMLA, or to file an FMLA complaint, individuals should contact the nearest office of the Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, U.S. Department of Labor

  18. Race Discrimination • Equal employment opportunity cannot be denied to a person because of: • Their racial group • Perceived racial group • Racial-linked characteristics • Marriage or association with someone of a particular race • The Act prohibits discrimination regardless of whether it is directed at Whites, Blacks, Asians, Latinos, etc

  19. Disability Discrimination • The Act prohibits discrimination in the basis of disability in all employment practices • An employer must have at least fifteen (15) employees to be subject to Indiana’s disability employment discrimination laws • It is necessary to understand several important definitions to know who is protected by the law and what is illegal discrimination

  20. Who is disabled? • An individual with a disability under the Act is a person who: • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities • Has a record of such an impairment • Is regarded as having such an impairment • Major life activities include: • Walking, breathing, seeing, hearing, speaking, learning and working

  21. Qualified Disabled Person • A qualified employee or applicant with a disability is someone who satisfies: • Skill • Experience • Education • Job-related requirements • Essential functions of the job with or without a reasonable accommodation

  22. Duty to Accommodate • Reasonable Accommodations may include: • Making facilities accessible • Job restructuring • Modification of work schedules • Additional unpaid leave time • Reassignment to a vacant position • Acquiring or modifying equipment or devices, training materials or policies • Provide qualified readers or interpreters • Disabled individuals should have the ability to enjoy the benefits and privileges of employment that are enjoyed without people with disabilities

  23. Undue Hardship • An employer is required to make reasonable accommodations to a qualified person with a disability unless doing so would cause an undue burden • Significant difficulty or expense considering the business size, financial resources and the nature and structure of the operation

  24. Prohibited Requirements • Before making an offer of employment an employer may not ask job applicants about: • Existence, nature or severity of a disability • However, applicants may be asked: • Their ability to perform the job functions • To have a medical examination* *Only if examination is required for all entering employees in the same job category and related and consistent with business necessity.

  25. Drug and Alcohol Use • Employees and applicants currently engaging in illegal drugs and alcohol are notprotected by the Act when an employer acts on the basis of such use • Drug tests are not considered medical examinations and therefore are not subject to the Act’s restrictions • Employers may hold individuals who are illegally using drugs and excessively using alcohol to the same standards of performance as other employees

  26. Questions or Concerns? Indiana Civil Rights Commission 100 North Senate Avenue, Room N103 Indianapolis, IN 46204 Office: (317) 232-2600 Toll Free: (800) 628-2909 Hearing Impaired: (800) 743-3333 Website: