Discrimination is the treatment of individual members of the society differently based on stereotypic perception or physical characteristics. It is unethical and violates human rights, but, nevertheless, it has continued to exist at different places of work for a long time revolving around preference, exclusion, and distinction. People experience discrimination at the workplace all the time, and this has raised concern since it can impact negatively the productivity of the organization. One feels discriminated against when he/she is treated unfavorably compared to another person by a perceived opinion on them. It would be advisable for enterprises to emphasize respect focusing on the principle of nondiscrimination and base their promotion, employment, and training on qualification and competency. This essay aims to discuss the key relevant discrimination issues in the workplace.
Types of Discrimination
Discrimination is demonstrated in many ways, and they cut across the social, economic and biological spheres. People get discriminated by race, physical disabilities, gender, and age among other reasons. There are numerous types of discrimination with color being the most common. Firstly, there is widespread discrimination of workers by their race where they are only appointed to certain lower jobs, and they get less remuneration as compared to other employees in the same position who are not of their race (International Labor Organization 1). Secondly, age has become a standard tag of discrimination where the older workers are discriminated against getting employed due to the perception that they are elderly and thus it is hard to teach them the new ways of doing things. They are considered not trainable and, therefore, most employers prefer the youth. Thirdly, sexual orientation has become an issue of discrimination where gays and lesbians are denied employment due to the mentioned reason. Those people living with HIV and AIDS are also discriminated in the workplace even by other employees (International Labor Organization 2). Once the management learns of the status of an individual, they make it a reason to terminate the employment of the latter. Finally, there is the issue of disability where persons with disabilities are discriminated against, and even though often they are capable of performing better than the healthy people, most of them remain unemployed.
Impacts of Discrimination
Most cases of discrimination in the workplace result in low self-esteem that culminates in unbearable stress and poor health. The stress level in the United States, for instance, among the darker-skinned persons has been increasing during the last few years. The most affected racially are the blacks and the Hispanics who state that they even have to consider what they have to say so that they are not victimized (American Psychological Association 21).
Discrimination also causes the issue of loss of self-confidence, especially among men. It makes discriminated people hate and see themselves and as if they are inferior human beings. This situation can be overwhelming to the point where an individual commits suicide.
The level of stress caused by discrimination has been seen to be directly correlated to the issue of poor health (American Psychological Association 10). This means that the bias will make an individual unhealthy and this can have an effect on his or her level of productivity. People who are weak and sick will not be in a position to perform their duties at their best, and this will translate to losses to the company or organization they work for. Change of behavior is another impact of discrimination. Individuals who know that they are targets of discrimination will try to find ways in which they will look like the other persons to whom they are compared. For instance, some of the Hispanics in the United States go as far as trying to change their appearance so that they look like the whites believing that this will make them appreciated and embraced by the workplace society (American Psychological Association 7). These impacts show that if the trend of discrimination among employees is not prevented in time, it will affect the economic productivity of organizations negatively in the long run.
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Ways of Eliminating Discrimination at the Workplace
Equality ought to be promoted in a place of work since an organization has the obligation of safeguarding all of its employees to achieve greater profitability. A team with cohesion and understanding among the workers tends to be more productive. In this case, some ways can be used to bring equality in the workplace. Firstly, the commitment to justice and equality must come from the top management (International Labor Organization 4). It is the leaders who should lead by example and encourage harmonious diversity in the workplace; as a result, the fellow employees will treat one another with respect and dignity. Secondly, the management should ensure it makes an assessment of whether discrimination exists in their organizations and seek the best ways to encourage equality. Thirdly, there should be clear policies in the company that clearly articulate its procedures, communication, and opportunities whereby they do not involve any manner of discrimination (International Labor Organization 3). Fourthly, the organizations ought to have equal remuneration for the employees working on the same position and capacity so that no worker feels to be less important than the other. Lastly, the company should make its promotions and placement specifically based on qualification and performance, and not on any other aspect that may be considered discriminative.
Discrimination at the workplace results in the denial of employment among people who would have been more productive as well as locks out those who would have added a higher level of experience to the organization. Due to these concerns, various states such as the State of New York have formulated laws that discourage discrimination in the workplace. Firstly, employers are prohibited from discriminating their employees by race when it comes to hiring and promotions. Secondly, it is forbidden for anyone to discriminate against a person by his or her nationality (Committee on Labor and Employment Law 3). This is to ensure that as long as an individual is qualified for the position and has a work permit, he or she is eligible to work without being discriminated against. It is also unlawful for employers to discriminate against anyone based on the issue of disability (Committee on Labor and Employment Law 5). The New York State has ensured that all the employees in the state have been safeguarded and can work without fear of being discriminated against. Various countries have also emphasized in their constitutions the need to respect and value every human with dignity in any setup, and this includes the workplace.
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In conclusion, discrimination is more rampant in today’s world than before and needs to be tamed so that economic development and social cohesion can be realized. The types of discrimination range from race and gender to even age, and their impacts are catastrophic to both the individual and society. Persons who are discriminated against suffering from excessive stress and this leads to poor health. Poor health among the workforce will result in low productivity, and this will hinder development in the community. Employers are supposed to come up with policies that discourage discrimination in the workplace. The states should also be champions of fighting discrimination by ensuring that they have outlawed the many forms of discrimination in the workplace in their constitutions.
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