Free «Women and Equality in the Workplace» Essay Sample

Civil Liberties

Civil liberties refer to fundamental rights which are promised and assured to citizens or residents of particular country or State by their respective government. It is important to note the difference between civil rights and human rights. Although the two terms are sometimes confused with each other, they do not have the same meaning. Human rights refer to fundamental universal rights which are applicable to all persons worldwide whereas civil liberties are rights imposed by the federal or State governments to protect their citizens.

With human rights, the government does not have the obligation to protect such rights whereas with civil liberties, the government is obliged to provide protection to the citizens. Similarly, human rights are universal and hence do not depend on where a person comes from or the country in which he or she lives in. Most civil liberties are enacted by the government through constitutional laws, and are commonly referred to as Bills of Rights. Usually, civil liberties lead to equal treatment of people equally before the law.

Advice to Maria on the Scope of Civil Liberties at Workplace

More civil liberties have been provided for women, children and other disadvantaged groups such as people with disabilities within the society. In my opinion, Maria should be able to comprehensively understand the various civil liberties provided to people in various cities or States in which their company has branches. For example, citizens of Ohio State may have freedom of speech and expression and thus can openly express their thoughts, views or opinions whereas their Zimbabwean counterparts may lack such freedoms. Similarly, certain countries allow peaceful strikes or demonstrations to be organized by trade unions whereas other countries do not allow such strikes. It is thus important for her to understand the types of civil liberties that are provide by government of their host countries. For example, the company should not deny employees their rights to expression and associations.

Employment Discrimination

Employment discrimination refers to making biased decisions or provision of certain working conditions that are highly disadvantageous to certain people in the organization. Employment discrimination refers to any form of maltreatment or bigotry that is directed towards a given person or group persons. It entails ill-treatment of persons in an organization with regard to hiring, promotion of employees, assigning duties and responsibilities s, termination of employment contracts as well as other forms of harassments and abuses at the workplace.

Discrimination in employment can also be exercised through punitive disciplinary actions, unreasonable transfers from one job station to another, and layoff and discharge from the organization without valid reasons. An employer may also discriminate an employee by not providing suitable working conditions as well as when selecting employees for further training and development.

According to the Federal Laws, employers are not allowed by the law to discriminate any employee whatsoever. The Federal Laws provide protection to employees from employment discriminations right form hiring and recruitment through the workplace to termination of employment. Employees should not be discriminated based on their personal characteristics or attributes such as skin color, age, sex or citizenships. Additionally, mistreating employee because of their cultural backgrounds or religious beliefs and practices is considered unlawful.

Laws on Gender Discrimination in the Workplace

Various regulations and Laws have been enacted to control gender based discriminations in the workplace. However, gender discriminations are still widespread and extensive at the workplace. In most cases, women have been maltreated by employers. For examples, women’s salaries are approximately eighty percent lower than that of men who perform the same duties and responsibilities under similar employment terms and conditions (Giele & Stebbins, 2003).

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The Civil Rights Act of 1982 forbids employment discrimination based on race, religion, gender or citizenship. Similarly, the Rehabilitation Act of 1995 excludes discrimination of disabled person at the workplace. The Age Discrimination Act of 2001 prohibits discrimination of person aged above forty years at the workplace.

The number of women allowed to hold senior positions is also incredibly lower than that of men. For example, a research study conducted amongst top 100 organizations in the United States of America revealed that only five percent of their chief executive officers were women (Goodman-Delahunty & Foote, 2011). Men still dominate most senior positions in numerous organizations worldwide. This is against the federal laws that advocate for equal opportunity for both men and women in the workplace.

Degrees of Discrimination in the Provided Case Studies

In the Fast Sushi’s Restaurant case, employees were discriminated according to their nationalities or citizenships. For example, it is only Japanese who were employed as staff to serve the customers. In my view, the Hispanic was not fired because of the drinking problem but rather because of nationality. The organization should have talked to and discussed with the employee about his or her drinking behavior rather firing him or her without giving any explanation. I view this as a result of predetermined prejudice that was developed against people of different nationalities other Japanese. The employee with drinking problem should have been placed under rehabilitation by the organization or given appropriate guidance and counseling concerning his irresponsible behavior and a warning notice before firing.

In the second case of Teen Bean Coffee House, employees were being discriminated at the hiring and recruitment stages. Here, discrimination was based on age and physical appearance or outlook. This is evident by the organization selecting only young and very good looking people. Additionally, the Teen Bean case also presents a good example of how employees may be discriminated based on their health status. For example, the employee who was fired because he had AIDS is a solid evidence of discrimination of employees based on health status.

In the School Dinner’s Restaurant, employee discrimination was based on age, physical appearance and gender. The organization employed only attractive young women and turned down applications from more qualified, though old, men and women. Similarly, we notice that the manager abused her position by trying to sexually assault Lena through making sexual demands in order to award her the job. In my view, this case elaborates how female workers may be sexually assaulted by their bosses.

The fourth case about Gymnasium Restaurant further presents how employers discriminate their employees based on their physical appearances. Helen was not awarded the job because she appeared overweight and older, regardless of her vast experience which would have proved beneficial to the organization. In my opinion, many organizations often loose productive and resourceful employees through such unnecessary discriminations and biasness.

Finally, the last case about Tanya depicts gender and racial discriminations in the workplace. Tanya, as she claims, was not promoted on the grounds that she was a black female. Whereas her male counterparts were being promoted, the interview panel denied her an opportunity to get promotion. In my opinion, this is a clear indication of the evils done by most managers within an organization. Some manages are racists and thus will discriminate against races that they think or feel unsuitable or inferior. Additionally, Tanya was denied another opportunity to be groomed by the management so that she would take up management opportunities in future. I would argue that all employees should be treated equally and be given equal chances for employee growth and development and trainings as well as promotional opportunities. No any employee should be discriminated based on his or her gender or race.

Effects of Discrimination in the Workplace

Discrimination at the workplace negatively affects business operations. This is because discrimination often damages the status and public image of the company. Discriminative organizations often suffer from decreased profits and reduced market shares.

In my opinion, when a company discriminates an employee, the employee will talk ill of the company thereby discouraging potential customers. Additionally, employees who have been discriminated by the employer rarely show respect or loyalty to the organization. Companies that discriminate thus frequently suffer from high employee turnovers. Employees often tend to look for better jobs else whenever get discriminated.

Additionally, discriminations at the workplace have resulted into increased levels of poverty, forced labor and slavery as well as employment of underage children. Discriminations in the workplace lead to stress-related illness and complications. It results into decreased employee motivation and hence poor performance, low productivity, poor mental and physical health as well as emotional instability. Workplace discriminations encourage development of poor interpersonal skills such as hatred, antisocial behaviors and prejudice towards other people. Employees may also be discriminated through threats and intimidations.

Dealing with Workplace Discrimination

In my opinion, discrimination in the workplace is a societal evil that should be curbed by all means. It is a wrongdoing to the society as well as humanity. It should thus be controlled and avoided by governments, employees and the employees.

I would suggest that employers should pay adequate attention and embrace socio-cultural differences amongst different communities. Employer should pay attention to cultural diversities amongst employees. Employers should examine and identify any barriers in the workplace that may be discriminate in nature or bar employees from entering given job positions or level. Employers may also developed strategies that are tailored towards providing equal opportunities for trainings and development of employees. During hiring and recruitment stages, employers should target qualified employees through use of free and fair recruitment strategies.

Additionally, employers may encourage use of participative or democratic leadership styles that would incorporate employees’ views and opinions in decision-making processes of the organization. This would build trust and good relationships between the employers and the employees. Furthermore, it would help in motivating employees as they would feel trusted and worth assets to the organization.

On the other hand, employees may discourage workplace discrimination through participation in networking and social activities within the organization. Through such social activities, the employees would embrace and learn cultural difference amongst their colleagues. They will learn how to handle their fellow employees with different cultural backgrounds. Employees may also form formal lobby groups and social support organizational that would fight for their rights as employees. Lobby organizations may also be used by the employees in pushing the government to implement anti-discriminatory rules and regulations. Employees may also seek guidance and counseling services whenever they get discriminated. They should also file law suits against employers who have discriminated them, for example, through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (Gregory, 2009).

Last but not least, the government should enact laws that offer protection to employees from discrimination in the workplace. Through its law enforcement agencies such as Law Courts and through the Department of Labor, the government should ensure that all federal laws against discrimination are fully implemented I the workplace.


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