Employment discrimination begins when people with the similar qualification are treated ina different way,taking into account their gender, age, disability, race, ethnicity, religion, and other certain characteristics. Among definite areas on employment discrimination, there are wage inequality, immigration, discrimination and stereotypes, and domestic labor. Under business law, discrimination is not only an unlawful, but also an unethical issue, as it gives rise to and strengthens inequalities and victimization.
Workplace discrimination can take place while recruiting and selecting staff, terms, conditions and benefits offered as part of employment. One form of discrimination which is common in labor market is based on the genderof employees. Gender gap delimits variances between women and men in retrieving some social capital or benefit in such spheres as occupation, educational attainment, wage rates, or even participation in the labor marketplace (Heckman 107).
It is pointed that even though women show considerable results in their workplace, business leadership remains principally male. The number of women in senior corporate positions is still too small. Analysis of the Fortune’s 500 companies, where only five companies have elevated women to top leadership positions, indicates that over ninety nine percent of management is male dominated. It shows the existence of discrimination that ties women to low level jobs with less pay compared to their male counterparts. According to the research, discrimination against women is based on stereotypes that women do not want to work, they are too emotional, less dedicated to their careers, not hard-hitting, cannot work for many hours, unable to move geographically.
Pregnancy discrimination is defined as discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, and connected circumstances. It includes actions to fire or demote a pregnant worker, not to hire a pregnant woman, terminate her contract without joint agreement between the involved parties, as well as treating pregnant women in a manner dissimilar to that of other employees, obliging them to carry their duties when it is clear they cannot accomplish such duties because of pregnancy.
According to statistics, discrimination of pregnant employees has increased to 75% in 38 States of U.S. It does not matter whether a woman is employed in a female dominated work environment or male dominated labour setting. In 2006, there were 6,196 cases of pregnancy discrimination with claims and compensation on the amount of $17.0 million (Brusman).
Prevention of sexism and guaranteeing equal conditions for all employees in the place of work is the management responsibility. Management policies are affected by antidiscrimination laws to some degree. Such laws were approved to prevent gender discrimination and protect female employees from different unfair situations. For instance, an employer cannot dismiss a female worker in the case of pregnancy because this will be a breach of antidiscrimination laws.
Marital status discrimination exists when the employer concludes about employment in view of whether the person is married, divorced, living alone, or widowed. Many people find themselves ruled by the narrow listing brackets of their marital status. Some companies search for single persons, who are less pressured by their home responsibilities, and, thus, more committed to work (Goblin).
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Another form of discrimination in the workplace is connected withageissue. Age discrimination or ageism is a reality in the modern society, which refers to the norms, attitudes, and beliefs towards groups of people because of their age, based on prejudice and subordination. The adoration of adults and abandoning young people is called adultism, while the advantage of young people is known as jeunism. In the employment environment, ageism touches both younger and older workers, producing the idea that a specific group of people is less productive due to supposed lack of physical capabilities or intelligence.The discrimination built on age makes it difficult for the elderly to be hired, and the riskof being dismissed becomes higher. There are some laws that cover the general prohibition of discrimination against age.
Furthermore, there are discriminations grounded on color, race, and ethnic origin. The types of discrimination are prohibited by the United Nations through human rights agreements valid in federal states. Thus, organizations have no alternative but to accept the human rights policies relating to discrimination (Darity & Mason 78).
Racial discrimination can be determined as the practice of intentionally repudiating a person access to his/her rights, representation, or resources only on account of race. Racial discrimination is a noteworthy social question in the United States that affects lives of many people. Discrimination against Native Americans, Blacks, Latin Americans, and Arabs should be mentioned.
The American Indians, the natives of Alaska and Hawaii and the Pacific Islanders, are still the poorest people in the country. The 20th century saw extensive campaigns against racial discrimination of blacks. The Civil Rights Act was adopted that banned all forms of discrimination in all public institutions. However, blacks are still racially discriminated in many public organizations.
Despite of different racial and ethnic origins, Latinos are frequently associated with peculiar characteristics, such as passion, extreme sexuality, lack of assiduity and other stereotypes.
Racial discrimination against Arab Americans has been progressively increasing since the September 11 terrorist attacks in the country and naturally resulted in pressures between the U.S. and Arab countries. This discrimination has expanded on the whole Islamic community because Americans believe that it is predisposed to terrorism (Goblin).
An individual’s religious background can be a source of discrimination in the employment sector too. The employers treat the employee’s religious viewpoints and traditions rationally, as long as such tolerance does not influence negatively the company’s performance, rules, and reputation.
This discrimination takes place when a boss favors a person for job offers, promotions, and pay rise just ofthe same religion. People from other religions are expected to be mistreated. In this kind of workplace discrimination, some people are burdened with personal religious beliefs by being forced to do what is against their principles. For instance, some are forced to work on holy days, according to their religion.
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Under the US Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC), employee discrimination claims increased to the level of 15.2 % in 2008 in contrast with the previous year. It has been the largest growth since the agency was formed in 1965.
The government’s partaking in the employment market is promoted by legislation and regulation. Currently, laws and declarations against discrimination are being passed. Besides, the moral ethics and trainings of employees work positively for plummeting discrimination. It is important to note that discrimination is a very destructive practice in any employment environment and it usually results in abridged productivity among discriminated workers.
The Declaration of Independence of 1776 was the first civil rights law, which proclaimed the equality of all men. The Civil Rights Act of 1866 emphasized that all people should have the same rights(Blumberg).
Women’s Bureau in U.S. Department of Labor originated by the verdict of Congress in 1920. It is betrothed in protection of women’s rights in the labor domain through 10 regional offices. Civil Law Bureau is directed by the Department of Justice and works as a legal body which offers management for the undiscriminating legislature. It coordinates other federal agencies, but there is no distinct government authority of gender parity in the United States.
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Even civil rights had a long history as a legislative and political subject. In particular, the 1960s are characterized as a period of penetrating activity for protecting rights against employment discrimination.
In 1964, Congress approved Public Law 88-352 which prohibits discrimination based on race and sex in promoting, hiring, and firing. EEOC was created to implement the act. Nowadays, amenably to the rules of U. S. Government Manual of 1998-1999, the EEOC applies laws that forbid discrimination of sex, race, religion, color, age, disability, or natural origin in testing, hiring, apprenticeship, training, promoting,setting wages, and firing, as well as other conditions and terms of employment. Sex, race, religion, age, and color have no protected-class status, which provokes energetic debate.
The EEOC, as an independent controlling body, plays a chief role in barring employment discrimination by applying a variety of federal statutes. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 bans discrimination of gender in recompense for considerably comparable work under comparable conditions. Kennedy’s proposal for public accommodations, voting rights, nondiscrimination, school desegregation in federal programs ended in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The latter forbids employment discrimination grounded on sex, religion, race, natural origin, or color. Thus, a range of protected conditions became wider in active legislation.
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The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed by President Jonson. It has been the most far-reaching civil rights regulation since Reconstruction that ensured the integration of public facilities, banned discrimination in public places, and made it illegal action.
Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provide equal rights in all fields of public life irrespective of racial sign. They are also associated with variations in the white-black earnings. The Civil Rights Act should be considered as the most important law in plummeting sexism. Nevertheless, racial discrimination has disguised in more delicate and hidden forms since that time.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 gave stated protection of persons of 40 years and older in employment discrimination. It prevented discrimination in hiring and firing conditions. The Education Act of 1972 prohibited sexism in education programs, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 forbade discrimination against workers with disabilities. In the late 1970s, the Pregnancy Act Discrimination, which made unlawful to reject childbirth or pregnancy from women’s health benefits plans and sick leave, was accepted by Congress (Darity & Mason 78).
According to the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, adopted in 1978, pregnant women are fairly treated on hiring, firing, pay, promotion, fringe benefits, layoff, and health insurance among others. It is clearly meant that discrimination centred on pregnancy, medical conditions, linked to pregnancy or giving birth,is considered to be unlawful sex discrimination. EEOC had already estimated that about 30,000 women lost their jobs each year as a result of being pregnant, and this figure seems to be rising. This shocking fact is not only morally wrong, but it is also illegal.
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The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 bans discrimination of employees on the grounds of disability in private as well in the public sector. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 protects from international discrimination by monetary damages. The Lily Ledbetter fair Pay Act of 2009 complemented the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for satisfying gaps in earnings discrimination.
Presidents also employed a number of executive orders. The order of President Jonson denominated the phrase “affirmative action” for the first time. The executive order of 1969 dictated to suggest equal opportunities for women. President Nixon demanded ending any underrepresentation of minorities and women. By the 1990s, Republican and Democratic administrations had taken about 160 federal programs of affirmative action (Heckman 109).
The court faced the affirmative action as well. It removed mandatory pregnancy leaves, canceled arbitrary height and weight requirements, permitted public employers to use affirmative action plans, and supported local and state laws barring sexism.
Thus, all branches of government had taken some action for equal defense under the law. The EEOC functioned as a federal controlling authority that endorsed the goal of equal opportunity. It is the agent of complaint and implementation. Operating with local and state programs, the EEOC deals with nearly 48,000 claims every year.
These laws obligate employers to provide workplaces free from discrimination. Management practices must prevent unfair behaviors in the workplace. It means that the application of appropriate policies and practices should take place. All workers must be treated on the basis of responsibilities of their work rather than on their personal characteristics. Employers have to guarantee that management practices do not disrupt the rights of employees. Although there are a lot of antidiscrimination laws, workers can often be treated in an unethical way.
Despite all attempts to stop gender discrimination in the workplace, it still exists.Cases when employers disturb the law often take place nowadays.Such situation is a great barrier to the women’s professional growth. Many companies discriminate women on the basis of gender, and they do not realize that women can be as good specialists as men.
Women from ethnic minorities face two kinds of discrimination such as lower pay and lower status compared with their white counterparts. The result of the gender gap is lower earnings and career possibilities, although women tend to save higher percentage of their income. The instrument for overcoming the situation is adoption of proper laws that will reduce the gender gap in the labor market outcomes (Goblin).
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Certainly, the racial discrimination is present in all spheres of the labor market. It is still widespread in the United States, and, thus, it is still a problem, because the majority of the citizens have not changed their attitudes to the historical experiences of different races.
In general, various forms of discrimination in the employment sector and society can lead to growth of other problems. Discrimination increases all round negativity and has a shocking impact on individuals, organizations, andthe whole society. The government should protect the welfare of employees against discrimination by putting up laws that prohibit such things.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is thought to be the most significant law to U.S. social and political development. It is named Johnson’s highest achievement that refers to the morality and immorality of social structure which was tolerant to any kind of discrimination. This act did not solve all glitches of discrimination, but it opened the door to future development by assuring more job chances.
On the other hand, people must be aware that discrimination does not have any benefits at all, but creates hostility. Despite differences in color, age, level of class, and ethnical backgrounds, all human are equal. They were created in the same image of God. Therefore, managers should ensure that they use mechanisms that reduce racial discriminations in the workplace. It will enhance productivity of the discriminated staff.
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Laws do not play the crucial role in guaranteeing employees their rights. It is the task of organizations, through the senior management, to create a right culture which will be tolerant to difference and allow individuals to fulfill their potential. No amount of legal rules and regulations can be a substitute for management training, which develops strong interpersonal skills and makes workers feel valued by their input. The law may shape people’s behavior at a societal level, but for organizations, it is the day-to-day connections at an individual level that determine people’s experience of work.
To sum it up, the problem of discrimination can be addressed by passing laws that define people as equal human beings. The society should also be educated at all levels to look at people, not by their color or race, but by their qualifications and abilities. That is how people have to live in the 21st century, in the civilized society.
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