Harassment and discrimination can occur in the workplace in a wide variety of scenarios. While harassment is often proactive in nature, discrimination commonly occurs behind the scenes when decisions are made regarding personnel that favors one sector of the workforce over another. This is not to mention that the hiring process can also be wrought with problems when selecting potential employees. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has designed parameters for governing all aspects of obtaining employment and advancement after being hired, but California companies can still use the “at will” employment model to their advantage when making personnel decisions to a major degree.
Companies can generally use many different reasons for not hiring an individual. Issues such as criminal history and other problems that arise in a background check are always easy claims for an employer. However, there are certain criteria that cannot be used against applicants as employment policy, all of which are set forth in the EEOC guidelines. While each case of discrimination is unique in some element, factors such as religion, race, age, and disability cannot be used as reasonable excuses for not hiring an applicant.
Once an individual has been hired by an employer, the nature of the relationship and opportunity for advancement becomes the focus of potential harassment and discrimination. Hostile work environments are no longer acceptable as a matter of employment law, and even California companies such as Tesla that do not have unionized workforces now must adhere to basic principles of fairness regarding advancement of personnel and equal or equivalent pay for all workers.
It is also important to remember that employment policy can impact more individuals than those in the workforce. The high volume of complaints that have been leveled against the Tesla Corporation are a prime example of what often happens in industrial workplaces with a large number of employees. Not only has the California Department of Employment and Fair Housing sued the major California employer, but now an investor has brought suit as well. The investor lawsuit suggests that the internal company advancement policy has created an overall toxic work environment that is anchored in racism, resulting in reduced stock value for the company.