equal pay and comparable worth issues and by the attention given to sexual harassment, employee benefit programs, and pregnancy and employment, among others. At the same time, there is recognition that a conflict may exist between a woman's rights and possible exposure to occupations and industries to toxic substances harmful to the female reproductive system.
Finally, controversy will continue to build regarding sex and racial discrimination in compensation practices (and this will be even further compounded when disability is combined with sex and race for example). With EEO hearings, professional conferences, and involvement by various special interest groups providing the forum for highlighting various views, the basic tenets of long-accepted job evaluation plans and compensation structures, for example, will be questioned.
Although a number of complex points have been highlighted here, the essence of this chapter is threefold. First, HRM specialists must find ways to anticipate and respond to the needs and wants of the disabled. Second, HRM specialists must be aware of the myriad of EEO laws, administrative regulations, and prominent court decisions. Third, each HRM policy and practice should be periodically evaluated to determine whether it operates unfairly against a specific race, sex, age, disabled, or other protected group. Given the potential costs in terms of time and money devoted to litigation, back-pay awards, and adverse publicity, diversity-related issues should be approached by HRM specialists in a preventive manner, with emphasis placed on recruiting, selecting, compensating, and treating employees in a way that maximizes the relevance of job performance and minimizes the attention given to factors not directly applicable to the job.
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