Workplace Discrimination

This paper endeavors to present a case study on workplace discrimination. First, it will provide a definition of the term ‘workplace discrimination.’ Second, it will reveal certain types of workplace discrimination. Lastly, it will unleash the implications of workplace discrimination and present suggestions and proposals on how to eliminate and eradicate workplace discrimination.

Discrimination in employment and occupation takes various forms and happens in all kinds of work setting. This pertains to treating people differently because of particular characteristics such as skin color, race and sex, which results in the impairment and destruction of equality of opportunity and treatment (International Labour Organization, 2009).  There are several types of workplace discrimination, however this study focuses on the five known discrimination namely: sexual orientation discrimination, disability discrimination, racial discrimination, religion or belief discrimination and age discrimination.

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Sex discrimination occurs when a person is treated unfairly in the workplace because of gender (Crosby, Stockdale, Ropp, 2007, p.3) It transpires when an employer treats an employee less favorably than others such as a female employee being paid less than a male colleague for doing the same job (Directgov, 2009). The same scenario can be applied to gays and lesbians. Too many of them experience job discrimination because of their sexual orientation (Log Cabin Republicans, 2008). Discrimination can also happen in monetary rewards, in terms of opportunities and on-the-job treatment. One particular form of on-the-job sex discrimination is sexual harassment (Crosby, Stockdale, Ropp, 2007, p.3).

Sex discrimination in the workplace will evolve to a more disruptive characteristic in the company as the number of women workers increases each year. It is during the 1999 when women represented 46 percent of the entire workforce. The U.S Department of Labor projections revealed that that trend will prolong and continue and by the year 2005, 48 percent of women will join the workforce. The increase in the percentage of women in the workplace inevitably increases and augments the incident in sexual discrimination which interrupts the workforce (Gregory, 2003, p. 11).

On the other hand, workplace discrimination also impinges and affects hundreds of gay and lesbian Americans. The issue focuses on the meaning on living in a free society. Liberty depends on the people who have the chance to pursue any career that they wish. Any development in the workplace should depend only on the person’s abilities and skills, and not in his or her sexual orientation (Log Cabin Republicans, 2008).

Disability discrimination occurs when disabled people earn less money than their able-bodied co-workers. They are also less likely to be employed. However, the staffers of National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research have disagreed that a worker’s disability can impair his or her productivity. They insist that dilemmas with regards to productivity are the result of unmotivated co-workers, bad workplace policies, etc. They did not primarily come from the limitations or disability of the workers (Barnett, 2007). Nevertheless, if a person happens to be treated unjust by the employer or co-worker due to his or her physical deformities or limitations, it is certainly disability discrimination.

Racial discrimination revolves with race, color, ethnic background and nationality. It happens when, for example, a minority ethnic employee is being declined and refused to be given training opportunities that are offered to the white co-workers (Directgov, 2009).

On the contrary, religion or belief discrimination occurs when an employer refuses to hire a person due to his or her different beliefs or religion. The discrimination also happens when a worker is treated unjustly because of her different point of views and beliefs. Age discrimination, on the other hand, transpires when a person is being denied for a job, a training opportunity or a promotion just because of his or her age (Directgov, 2009).

Workplace discrimination is indeed subjected to human rights violation. It can definitely be eradicated if given proper focus and actions. It is of vital importance to bear in mind the Human Rights Act, which sought to increase the protection for worker’s rights and freedoms, must at all times be observed. The provisions and stipulations that encompass in the Act are centered on work-related matters (Directgov, 2009).

It is also significant to note that everyone has agreed that workplace discrimination has no place in the modern business world. However, not everyone comprehends the laws that protect and defend workers against unjust treatment (All Business, 2009). As such, whether the incident is intended or unintended, there will be a discriminatory act that can be filed to the employer or co-worker that treats the “protected” employee. Even though most companies have already established procedures in dealing with a discrimination claim, it is better to execute and apply some strategies to avoid workplace discrimination. First, employers and employees must be aware of the legal definition of workplace discrimination. Second, learn the protected classes encompassed by the anti-discrimination law. Third, establish ways for filing complaints. Lastly, discuss in detail the anti-discriminatory policy with your employees (Legal Editor, 2008).

Definitely, anti-discrimination laws are not just the solutions to eradicate workplace discrimination. To eliminate and avoid discriminations, it is important to start with one’s self by treating all people fairly and with respect. No matter what the person’s sexual orientation is, or race, color and religion, bear in mind that humans indeed have feelings. People must not be treated with contempt or prejudice no matter if he or she is disabled, or whether his or her religion, belief and tradition is different from the majority.

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