The purpose of Human Resources (HR) is to manage the workforce within an organization and facilitate the development of corporate culture in order to help an organization improve its performance and fulfill its mission. To perform its functions, HR should constantly refine its processes in different functional areas to influence the image of an organization positively and contribute to employee satisfaction and retention.
This paper will focus on the functional area of equal employment opportunities and provide recommendations for HR managers on how to enhance this area. The company chosen to demonstrate the area of opportunity to improve HR processes is American Airlines, Inc. This organization has specific issues with equal employment opportunities, and the implementation of the further mentioned recommendations is likely to benefit its image as an employer, as well as employee satisfaction and performance.
Description of the Functional Area
Under the equal employment opportunity, one should understand a fair treatment of all individuals pursuing various career options, such as hiring, compensation, or promotion, regardless of the factors not relevant to job qualifications. In the US, organizations’ compliance with equal employment opportunities is supervised by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Organizations hiring fifteen or more employees should comply with laws protecting equal employment opportunities, such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (Human resource management, 2016).
In 2017, American Airlines demonstrated poor compliance with equal employment opportunities by not allowing their employees to return to work with restrictions because of unwillingness to provide them with reasonable accommodations (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2017). It was a violation of the ADA, which led the company to suffer financial losses to settle the lawsuit.
Equal employment opportunity is closely related to the diversity of the workforce. Diversity refers to the differences among individuals in terms of “race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, background, socioeconomic status,” etc. (Human resource management, 2016, p. 65). Companies should make efforts to diversify their labor force not only to comply with the EEOC standards but also to provide better service and come up with more effective solutions resulting from the interaction of different people (Human resource management, 2016). American Airlines (2018) positions itself as an organization committed to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Yet, its employees seem to be dissatisfied with the diversity level in the company. Recently, American Airlines flight attendants claimed that the organization’s sick leave policy was discriminatory against women (O’Donnell, 2019). The problem stems from the underrepresentation of women among pilots and men among flight attendants, which has led to disparate impact discrimination.
To address the issue of equal employment opportunity, organizations may develop affirmative action plans, which are policies designed for deliberately diversifying the workforce. After reviewing the affirmative action policy of American Airlines, it may be concluded that the company’s actions are limited to the prohibition of discrimination in all employment processes, such as hiring, promotions, layoffs (American Airlines, 2019). The organization is also committed to complying with the federal anti-discriminatory laws and regulations, the abidance by which is monitored by the EEOC (American Airlines, 2019). However, there is no evidence that the company takes deliberate affirmative action to diversify its workforce.
Recommendations for HR
The first recommendation that may be given to American Airlines is to improve its recruitment process. In order to diversify their workforce, companies are encouraged to target their recruitment strategies at people of a particular race, gender, or nationality that tend to be the object of discrimination (Vitanski, 2019). For this reason, American Airlines should create job advertisements designed to attract employees from groups of the population, which are underrepresented in the company’s workforce.
Apart from recruitment, the organization should improve its selection process. The current selection process of American Airlines has resulted in an adverse impact, which refers to neutral employment practices or policies that can lead to discrimination against a protected group (Human resource management, 2016). To avoid this problem, researchers offer a “goals and timetables” model, which requires organizations to define the proportion of employees from minorities that should be present in the workforce and the deadline, by which this proportion should be achieved (Sharma, 2016).
The suggested proportion for the selection process is four-fifths, or eighty percent, meaning that a selection rate of employees belonging to minorities regarding race, gender, or other factors, should be at least 80% of the selection rate of the majority group (Human resource management, 2016). Thus, it may be recommended for American Airlines to apply these rules while hiring employees for various jobs within the company.
One more recommendation is concerned with the pay and promotion process. The common problem here is the pay gap between male and female workers stemming from stereotypes, the necessity to take maternity leave, and unequal negotiating skills (Human resource management, 2016). To ensure equal employment opportunity in terms of pay, American Airlines can develop a set pay schedule for its employees. As for promotion, the organization may develop a mentorship program that will provide each employee with the opportunity to improve skills and knowledge to become fit for a higher position.
American Airlines should make efforts toward diversifying its workforce through the improvement of its recruitment, selection, and pay and promotion processes. The implementation of these measures will help the company provide services of higher quality since the diverse workforce can find the appropriate approach to different customers. Hiring and retaining employees of various social backgrounds will also provide the organization with fresh ideas about further opportunities for growth and development. Finally, improving diversity will boost American Airlines’ reputation as an employer, which will result in employee satisfaction and the organization’s attractiveness to prospective workers.
American Airlines. (2019). Equal employment opportunity/ Affirmative action policy. Web.
American Airlines. (2018). Corporate responsibility report. Web.
Human resource management. (2016). University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing.
O’Donnell, P. (2019). Flight attendants say American Airlines’ sick leave policy discriminates against women. The Dallas Morning News. Web.
Sharma, A. (2016). Managing diversity and equality in the workplace. Cogent Business & Management, 3(1), 1-14. Web.
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (2017). American Airlines and Envoy Air to pay $9.8 million to settle EEOC disability suit. Web.
Vitanski, D. (2019). The concept for equal opportunities for employment, affirmative measures and “positive discrimination” in the public administration. Knowledge International Journal, 31(1), 345-350.