Below are the instructions for the outline. I have attached my outline for your review to match with your work regarding employment discriminiation. You may use different references for the topic if you wish. I have also attached chapters of my textbook since they're relevant to this assignment. Please include them as part of your references. Here is the citation of it:
Seaquist, G. (2012). Business law for managers. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Prepare an 12- to 16-page paper (not including the title and reference pages) that assesses a legal/ethical issue or situation relating to a current, previous, or potential future work environment. Use at least 11 scholarly sources that are suitable for research in a graduate-level course.
Your paper must include the following:
- A description of a business situation that presents a legal and ethical issue. The business situation must be from prior, current, or anticipated future employment experiences or from a current event. The description of the business situation must not exceed two pages.
- An analysis of the ethical concerns raised by the situation.
- Apply at least two different ethical theories to the situation to support at least two different outcomes.
- The paper must determine which ethical outlook as applied to this particular situation will result in the best legal outcome for the business.
- An explanation of at least three of the relevant areas of law that have been addressed in this course (e.g., constitutional law, contracts, anti-trust law, securities regulations, employment law, environmental law, crimes, or torts) and an assessment of the each area of law as it applies to the business situation identified.
- A recommendation to reduce liability exposure and improve the ethical climate or the overall ethics of the situation. Your recommendation must be supported by specific legal, ethical, and business principles.
Writing the Final Paper
The Final Paper:
- Must be 12 to 15 double-spaced pages in length (not including the title and reference pages), and formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
- Must include a title page with the following:
- Title of paper
- Student’s name
- Course name and number
- Instructor’s name
- Date submitted
- Must begin with an introductory paragraph that has a succinct thesis statement which identifies the focus of the paper.
- Must address the topic of the paper with critical thought.
- Must end with a conclusion that reaffirms your thesis.
- Must use at least 11 scholarly sources.
- Must document all sources in APA style, as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.
Must include a separate references page, formatted according to APA style as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center
Employment discrimination refers to the unfair treatment of individuals in the workplace as a result of various reasons. These may be because of race, gender, disability, age, criminal history and many more. The discrimination may take on various forms such as a deserving individual being denied advancement opportunities, or even the use of racial slurs. The victim is not given equal opportunity as is the case with the rest of the employees. Employment discrimination can be detrimental to the victim, thereby affecting the career development or even work morale. This is the reason why many scholars have been taking an interest in employment discrimination, trying to understand it better so that more ways may be suggested to address the issue. The government, employers, and employees have an active role to play to eradicate employment discrimination in places of work and ensure all individuals have access to equal opportunities.
Employment discrimination is described as a situation where an individual is denied equal employment opportunity given to counterparts with similar qualifications (Doyle, 2010). When an employee has showcased improved productivity through hard work he or she deserves to get a promotion if it is in line with the company policies. Unfortunately, in some cases, the one receiving the promotion will be an individual who has a special relationship with the management. If this happens, it is evident that discrimination in the workplace has occurred.
“Workplace discrimination refers to actions of institutions and/or individuals within them, setting unfair terms and conditions that systematically impair the ability of members of a group to work. Often, it is motivated by beliefs of the inferiority of a disadvantaged out-group compared to a dominant group” (Okechukwu, et al., 2013, p. 575). For example, a manager may have a preference for male employees based on the perspective that they can handle pressure in a more professional way compared to females. Hence, when the time comes for advancements, this manager will most likely choose the male over the female employee despite the fact that the female has shown better performance.
Employment discrimination may occur in the form of discrimination based on race, gender, sexual harassment and many others (Brouwers, et al., 2016). Racial discrimination has already been banned in the public environment by the federal laws. Here, it is illegal to treat an individual differently because of their racial background. This is the same approach which is employed in the employment setting as it is also categorized as a public environment. The employees should not be treated differently because they come from a particular race. For instance, the African Americans may effectively take over managerial positions. Unfortunately, there are still some companies which tend to prefer White Americans as they are assumed to be more educated and composed compared to the Black Americans who are often stereotyped as criminals. The Antidiscrimination Laws goes against such views and treatments by ensuring that anyone who goes against them is punished accordingly.
Discrimination on the basis of gender occurs when an employee of a particular gender is given unequal treatment simply because they are male or female (Stoilkovska, et al., 2015). Some job descriptions have been stereotyped as being a man’s kind of job or vice versa. For this reason, some employers may feel like a man or woman will do a given job much better than the opposite gender. For example, there is a common misconception that nursing is a women’s job. Therefore, some men who apply for this position are discriminated against as the women are given top priority. This is discrimination against the male gender because equality has not been observed. The men who are denied the position are not incompetent or unskilled; the employer simply felt like the females are more suited applicants. This is unfair treatment because the post should be opened for both men and women who are competing to get hired.
Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination whereby the employee is expected to give sexual favors so that he or she can get employed, promotions or even pay increment. At times, the employer is not the perpetrator of this crime, but another coworker. All in all, the employer will still be held liable if the victim files a lawsuit that proves that the employer knew of the harassment, or that he should have known. Therefore, the employer needs to put measures in place to ensure that no employee is discriminated against and intimidated against when he or she wants to report (Brouwers, et al., 2016). For example, the employer should ensure strict rules are put in place to ensure anyone who tries to sexually harass another employee is immediately punished as agreed. Also, it is important to ensure that the workplace program includes workshops where employees are trained on the best steps to take when sexual harassment has occurred. The law against sexual harassment is very severe and may even lead to a jail term. If the victim decides to report a coworker, the employer needs to be supportive in the investigations to ensure that the other employees will witness the strictness of company rules, as well as those of the government.
When such negative treatment occurs, the victim becomes affected such that the motivation to work harder in the future is lost. The employee feels unappreciated and unwanted in the workplace, possibly leading to a turnover (Pager & Western, 2012). The employee who would have been an important addition to the company is denied the opportunity to do so, hence leading to reduced company performance. Therefore, aside from the physical and emotional effects on the victim, it is clear that the company will also suffer. The newly employed individuals will take note of the discriminative trend, thereby preventing them from putting on extra efforts in their work. The effects which are often negative impede the performance of segregated members and incapacitates them (Brouwers, et al., 2016, p. 6). The competitive spirit which improves the productivity of the company becomes destroyed too.
Since many individuals have bills to pay and families to cater for, many will be forced to withstand such negative treatment. Minority groups which are often discriminated against are forced to settle for less than they deserve simply because they have a specific skin color, are of a particular gender, or are living with certain disabilities. Since the companies will argue that they cannot perform the roles required effectively due to these factors, many are forced to work without promotions or any form of acknowledgment for years. Therefore, the burden of responsibility rests on the government to not only pass but supervise compliance to various policies abhorring discrimination of any manner in employment (Jones, et al., 2017, p. 2). When the management knows that there are legal repercussions to discriminative action, many will be attentive when dealing with the employees.
Theories of Employment Discrimination
To better understand employment discrimination and how it is impacting the employees and the companies too, two ethical theories will be reviewed. These are the justice ethics theory and deontology theory.
Justice Ethics Theory
This theory perceives justice as fairness. It was developed to try and bring together the various ideas which may be used to determine what justice is. It is based on two principles; The principle of equal liberty and the principle of fair equality of opportunity (Chonko, 2015). Principle 1 is based on the view that each individual has an equal right to extensive basic liberties that are presented for all. Principle 2 has two parts; Part a requires that the social and economic inequalities be arranged in such a way that both will be to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged and part b requires that they will be attached to offices and ensure positions are all open fairly and equally to everyone. However, if principle 1 and 2 are to collide, the previous is to take priority over the latter. Also, under principle 2, part b is supposed to take priority over part a.
The principle of equal liberty indicates that the liberty of every citizen must be protected such that others cannot invade it, and it must also be equal for everyone. The basic liberties include; right to vote, the freedom of speech and conscience. The other civil liberties include; freedom to possess a personal property and the freedom from arbitrary arrest. The second principle is the one which relates directly to the issue of employment discrimination. In part a, the difference principle, it is assumed that any productive society will promote the incorporation of inequality into its system (Hemphill, 2015). Here, it is asserted that there are necessary steps which can be taken to ensure equality amongst individuals who are not equally able.
For instance, the neediest people of the society may be offered with better opportunities so that they are also given the chance of improving their positions. The disabled people already have to compete with the abled employees in the workplace. This presents an unequal working environment. However, if the company gives them better opportunities, such as first priority when offering promotions, then the competition has been leveled for them all (Pager & Western, 2012). In part b, the principle of fair equality of opportunity, it is argued that everyone should be presented with an equal opportunity to qualify for better positions in various institutions.
Hence, it is clear that Constitutional rights are necessary to ensure all people get fair treatment and business rules created by organizations for their employees also guarantee fairness. Disparate treatment is prohibited by the justice ethics theory (Seaquist, 2012, p. 48). The business rules need to take into consideration the various issues which may put some groups at a disadvantage compared to others. Also, the rules need to clearly indicate that the discrimination of others will not be tolerated. This is because the organization will be operating based on the rules that have been set to ensure an even working environment. This theory proves that fair treatment for all employees is a fundamental principle for abolishing discrimination in workplaces (Hemphill, 2015, p. 3). There will be no preferential treatment as the rules and regulations will be against it. The fact that the constitution may also be against such unfair treatment of individuals will make managers more conscious of any actions they take when dealing with employees.
The justice ethics theory implies that all employment procedures including promotions should be based on the fair treatment of the organization's workers. People should tune to being acknowledged for their qualifications and achievements rather than waiting for preferential treatments just because they have specific characteristics that the management may find appealing (Brouwers, et al., 2016). This is because the unfair treatment impacts the employees both physically and emotionally, thereby interfering with how well they perform their duties in the company. Hence, fairness will also lead to a better performing organization.
Deontology theory focuses on good intentions and individual rights as a call to duty. This duty must be motivated by the unconditional goodwill of the actor and all acts should portray a moral good (Seaquist, 2012, p. 48). The fact that rules are used to distinguish right from wrong makes it an applicable theory to the issue of employment discrimination. Basically, people are supposed to follow rules and do their duties as required even in the workplace. This theory is easily applied in the employment context because it is based on the natural intuition of what is right and wrong. For example, it is wrong to lie; and everyone should be willing to accept the position they obtained owing to the kind of effort they have put into their work. Therefore, it is clear that it will be wrong to use unacceptable means to get a promotion or even pay increment when there is someone else who deserved it.
An issue with this theory which causes a lot of confusion is based on the fact that at times it becomes difficult knowing what is right and wrong. For instance, when employed by a given company, it is right for an employee to be loyal to the company and its secrets. However, there are some secrets which may cause others a great deal of pain if not shared beforehand so that the company may be stopped. Deontology theory focuses on the actor only. Here, the actor is expected to do right by the company. Fortunately, in employment discrimination, this theory is used to ensure the management of an organization, the government, and even the employees are all focused on doing the right. It is crucial to focus on doing what is the rightful call of duty when dealing with all employees, including the minorities (Chonko, 2015, p. 2). It is clear that it will be wrong to cause harm to others just so another individual may benefit. Taking another person’s opportunities is wrong, which is why it should be avoided. On the other hand, healthy competition among the employees is right as it gives them all a chance to try and prove themselves to be the better individual for a given position.
Employers should act for the good of both the organization and its employees. Therefore, whenever actions are taken against an individual, it should be based on legal factors rather than their marginalized features. Punishment and even firing an employee is completely acceptable when the reasons are right. However, if this is done due to their race, gender, or even age, then the wrong reasons are being considered.
Areas of Law
Employment discrimination can be analyzed under the Civil Rights Act and Equal Opportunity Act (Pager & Western, 2012, p. 222). These laws are meant to ensure that the rights of individuals are not broken by anyone who may have more power over them. They make up the Antidiscrimination Law which mainly guided by the U.S. Constitution. Although the constitution does not mention discrimination per se, there are various provisions which have been interpreted through previous cases in the Supreme Court to relate to this subject. Hence, through the interpretations, various actions may be considered discriminative under the U.S Constitution, thereby leading to severe legal repercussions.
The Civil Rights Act
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was the reason why the fight against discrimination began. “The Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin” (Heathfield, 2010). It declared the segregation of others on the basis of race, religion, or ethnicity at public places to be illegal. Before this time, the African Americans among other specific minority groups of people were not allowed to mingle and share public rooms with the White Americans. They were viewed as inferior and not in the same social class as the Whites. Fortunately, as a result of the Civil Rights Act, the discrimination against skin color stopped. In addition to this ban, the Act was improved to also stop the discrimination by employers and labor unions against employees of color, or of specific minority characteristics, which is what resulted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Stoilkovska, et al., 2015). This Commission was given the power to file lawsuits on behalf of the victims.
Within a few years, the Act prevented the federal government from funding any discriminatory program. On the other hand, the Department of Education was given authority to support any move to end the segregation, such as desegregating schools. The law became strict relating to any form of unfair and discriminatory treatment. Consequences were also stipulated as the accused would be fined or even risk a jail term. If it is proved that an employer practices discrimination of any manner, they are liable for inflicting intentional torts against the employee (Seaquist, 2012, p. 107). It is argued that employment discrimination does not only occur during the process of hiring and firing. At times, it may also occur in terms of differences in payment or benefits, the work assignments given to employees, the process of performance evaluation, training and many others. When these happen, the employee is not given fair treatment compared to the rest who were also undergoing the process.
Therefore, if an employee is certain that he or she is being subjected to acts of discrimination, then payment of damages from the civil courts may be pursued. The employer went against the law by ignoring the banning of discriminatory acts against others. Since it has already been made clear to the public through various court case rulings that severe action will be taken, the employer will be risking litigation knowingly. This is because the law will be in favor of the employee being discriminated against just as has been the outcome of previous cases. It has already been stipulated that even in employment, everyone should be treated equally despite race, gender, religion and many more.
The Equal Opportunity Act
The Equal Employment Opportunity Act is the one responsible for giving the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) the authority to sue an individual or company in the federal courts. All that is required is the proof of reasonable cause which occurs when the victim is being treated differently as a result of race, color, religion, gender, and even ethnicity. This Act also bans employment discrimination on the foundation of race, color, gender, age, and religion among many others as determinant factors. This Act not only offers protection to public employees but those who work in the private sector as well. The organizations must have at least 15 employees before it can be covered. “Under the Equal Opportunity Act, employers have a positive duty to take reasonable and proportionate measures to eliminate discrimination” (Business Victoria, 2018). This is because the moment a reasonable lawsuit has been filed, the whole company will experience the consequences. It will not matter whether the person discriminating the employee was a low ranking team manager; the lawsuit will reflect negatively on the company as a whole.
For the above reasons, employers and the government too, are encouraged to promote anti-discrimination rules and regulations so that all employees in the different ranks follow them strictly (Brouwers, et al., 2016). In addition, it is necessary to ensure that any individual in the management team, who fails to follow through with the set rules is punished accordingly. The employment act advocates for equality and fairness in terms of pay regardless of the person’s gender, race, nationality, religion or color (Stoilkovska, et al., 2015, p. 287). Thus, unless there is a good reason why a particular employee should be offered lower pay, it is necessary to ensure equality at all costs. It is prudent for the employer to practice fairness and ensure all employees receive equal opportunities and treatment (Guest, 2017, p. 23). This is the only way through which the employer will be able to avoid any legal lawsuits against him or her and the company. Avoiding the great loss is quite important if the company wants to keep functioning as required.
Discrimination denies employees opportunities for which they are qualified. As the government sets and enacts laws to prohibit the act, the employers should be ethically bound to enforce such regulations. It is with the aid of such regulations that discrimination in the workplace can be stopped. The employees tend to follow the rules and regulations presented to them by their employers. Therefore, since the employer formulates rules and regulations from those of the constitution, it becomes a trend whereby all these parties are playing an effective role in the fight against employment discrimination. However, in case an employer fails to offer strict rules, or presents rules but does not follow them to the latter, the employees can still use various approaches to ensure legal action is taken. This can be achieved through the EEOC which fights for the rights of the employees in terms of fair treatment in the workplace. Therefore, it is evident that all must work together in this fight against employment discrimination. The government should pursue employers practicing discrimination and employees should seek redress whenever they receive unfair treatment.
Brouwers, E. P., Mathijssen, J., Van Bortel, T., Knifton, L., Wahlbeck, K., Van Audenhove, C.,
Van Weeghel, J. (2016). Discrimination in the workplace, reported by people with major depressive disorder: A cross-sectional study in 35 countries. BMJ Open, 6(2), e009961. Doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009961
Business Victoria. (2018). Equal opportunity for employers. Retrieved from http://www.business.vic.gov.au/hiring-and-managing-staff/employerresponsibilities/equal-opportunity-act-for-employers
Chonko, L. (2015). Ethical theories. Retrieved from http://www.dsef.org/wpcontent/uploads/2012/07/EthicalTheories.pdf
Doyle, A. (2010, August 7). Types of employment discrimination with examples. Retrieved from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/types-of-employment-discrimination-with-examples2060914
Guest, D. E. (2017). Human resource management and employee well-being: Towards a new analytic framework. Human Resource Management Journal, 27(1), 22-38. Doi:10.1111/1748-8583.12139
Hemphill, B. (2015). Social justice as a moral imperative. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 3(2). Doi:10.15453/2168-6408.1150
Jones, K. P., Arena, D. F., Nittrouer, C. L., Alonso, N. M., & Lindsey, A. P. (2017). Subtle discrimination in the workplace: A vicious cycle. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 10(01), 51-76. Doi:10.1017/iop.2016.91
Okechukwu, C. A., Souza, K., Davis, K. D., & De Castro, A. B. (2013). Discrimination, harassment, abuse, and bullying in the workplace: Contribution of workplace injustice to occupational health disparities. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 57(5), 573-586. Doi:10.1002/ajim.22221
Pager, D., & Western, B. (2012). Identifying discrimination at work: The use of field experiments. Journal of Social Issues, 68(2), 221-237. Doi:10.1111/j.1540-4560.2012.01746.x
Seaquist, G. (2012). Business law for managers. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Stoilkovska, A., Ilieva, J., & Gjakovski, S. (2015). Equal Employment Opportunities in the recruitment and selection process of human resources. UTMS Journal of Economics, 6(2), 281–292.
Heathfield, S. M. (2010, September 1). Learn what laws make discrimination in employment illegal. Retrieved from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/employment-discrimination-laws-1919370