Equal Employment Opportunity and Work-Related Laws/Statutes

Equal Employment Opportunity

The Lunenburg Public Schools is an equal opportunity employer.  As an equal opportunity employer, the Lunenburg Public Schools does not discriminate because of an individual’s race, creed, ancestry, color, gender, age, religion, handicap or disability, marital or parental status, home, veteran status, status as a Vietnam-era disabled veteran, national origin, sexual orientation or any other legally protected status (in compliance with Titles I, II, VI, VII, IX and Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, McKinney-Vento Act).  The Lunenburg Public Schools is committed to upholding non-discrimination laws in its hiring and employment practices.   Federal law and state law prohibit discrimination.  Federal laws addressing discrimination include:

 
    ·         Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The law also protects employees from retaliation if employees complain about discrimination or participate in an EEOC investigation or lawsuit.

 

·         Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA) protects men and women who perform substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination;

 

·         Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from discrimination because of age.  The law also protects employees from retaliation if employees complain about age discrimination or participate in an EEOC investigation or lawsuit.

 

·         Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits employment discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the private sector, and in state and local governments. The law also protects employees from retaliation if employees complain about discrimination or participate in an EEOC investigation or lawsuit.
 
·         Sections 501 and 505 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities who work in the federal government. The law also protects employees from retaliation if employees complain about discrimination or participate in an EEOC investigation or lawsuit.

 

·         Civil Rights Act of 1991, which, among other things, provides monetary damages in cases of intentional employment discrimination.
 
·         Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination that excludes participation/benefits and/or limits/denies access to programs and facilities, an elementary/secondary education, and employment opportunities on the basis of disability. Adherence to this law, accommodations and/or modifications is applicable not only employees, but to special education services, evaluations, Individual Education Plans (IEPs), and student discipline. 
 
·         Title II--amended to include the the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) that is a Federal law that prohibits discrimination in health coverage and employment based on genetic information. GINA, together with already existing nondiscrimination provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, generally prohibits health insurers or health plan administrators from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or an individual's family members, or using such information for decisions regarding coverage, rates, or preexisting conditions. GINA also prohibits employers from using genetic information for hiring, firing, or promotion decisions, and for any decisions regarding terms of employment. The parts of the law relating to health coverage (Title I) generally will take effect between May 22, 2009, and May 21, 2010, and those relating to employment (Title II) will take effect on November 21, 2009. (United States Department of Health and Human Services).  For more information see the following links: www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/gina.html and www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/gina.cfm.
 
·         The Pregnancy Discrimination Act amended Title VII to make it illegal to discriminate against a woman because of pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth.
 
State laws addressing discrimination and other personnel matters:

 

·         Chapter 622 of the General Laws of Massachusetts, Title VI, Title IX, and Section 504 provides: No person shall be excluded from or discriminated against in admission to a public school of any town and that all programs, activities, and employment opportunities are offered without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or disability.  To report a case of discrimination or to obtain further information please contact the Instructional Services Director, our Coordinator of Title VI, Title IX, and Section 504, 1401 Massachusetts Avenue, Lunenburg, MA  01462, 978-582-4122. All reports are taken seriously and addressed in accordance to federal and state law as well as district policy.

 

·         An Act Relative to Gender Identity

Effective July 1, 2012 gender identity is included in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ anti-discrimination laws as a protected class. The law also includes protection of transgender persons under existing hate crime laws.  Gender identity, under this law, is defined as “a person’s gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s physiology or assigned sex at birth.” The law further states that gender identity “may be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held as part of the person’s core identity.”

 

·         Lie Detector Test: It is unlawful in Massachusetts to require or administer a lie detector test as a condition of employment or continued employment. An employer who violates this law shall be subject to criminal penalties and civil liability (MGL: c.149, s. 19B).

 

·         Applicants for Employment and Sealed Records: An applicant for employment with a sealed record on file with the Commissioner of Probation may answer ‘no record’ with respect to an inquiry herein relative to prior arrests, criminal court appearances or convictions. An applicant for employment with a sealed record on file with the commissioner of probation may answer ‘no record’ to an inquiry herein relative to prior arrests or criminal court appearances. In addition, any applicant for employment may answer ‘no record’ with respect to any inquiry relative to prior arrests, court appearances and adjudications in all cases of delinquency or as a child in need of services which did not result in a complaint transferred to the superior court for criminal prosecution.

 

·         Applicants for Employment and Volunteer Service: Massachusetts General Law (chapter 149, section 52B) maintains applicants may include any verified work performed on a volunteer basis. 

 

     ·         Massachusetts Whistleblower Act, MGL Ch. 149:185, public employees are protected from retaliatory action when reporting that an activity, policy or practice of an employer is in violation of a law or regulation, or that such is a risk to the public health, safety or environment. The state  Inspector General  is also charged with enforcing another whistleblower statute, M.G.L. Ch.12:14, dealing with fraud, abuse, or waste in government involving the procurement of any supplies, services, or construction. 
 
For a more detailed explanation of these laws, please visit www.eeoc.gov the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website. For state laws and initiatives relative to discrimination and workplace rights please visit http://www.ago.state.ma.us the website of the Massachusetts Attorney General.  
Employment Law

 

Employment laws are disbursed throughout this document as applicable.  The Department of Labor has provided an additional resource for both employees and employers—“elaw Advisors”, which can be found at the website www.dol.gov/elaws/.  Elaw Advisors are “interactive e-tools that provide easy-to-understand information about a number of federal employment laws. Each Advisor simulates the interaction you might have with an employment law expert. It asks questions and provides answers based on responses given” (Department of Labor Website).