U.S. workers are well aware of discrimination issues at work. Since 1964 Title VII has prohibited sex discrimination in the workplace. Other countries are catching up to U.S. equal employment standards.
A new Italian law has ended retirement age discrimination based on sex. A good thing you say? Most Americans would agree with that.
However, apparently not all Italians agree. Previously, female employees could retire at 60, 5 years earlier than men. The difference had been justified by crediting women for taking care of the family and housework.
The European Commission found the rule to be illegal, forcing Italy to change the law. The law applies only to government employees for now but it is likely to be extended to the private workforce as well.
According to the Washington Post, an arbitrator has found that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the agency tasked with enforcing federal discrimination laws, has been found to have violated federal overtime law. The case arose out of a grievance filed by the EEOC employees’ union. In his findings, the arbitrator found nationwide and knowing violations of the Fair Labor Standard Act. Apparently employees were encouraged (pressured) to work long hours without overtime pay, although there was a practice of offering comp time…which didn’t meet legal requirements. The EEOC, which is handling increasing numbers of discrimination claims and lost 25% of its staff via cuts during the Bush administration, is reviewing the situation.
Read more at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/30/AR2009033002901_pf.html