At one point in each of our lives we have been discriminated against in regards to our personal character. This discrimination could be in reference to our age, gender, race, or even our sexual preference. None the less we have been discriminated against, and that just is not right. The issue of discrimination usually takes center stage in the office and the policy of discrimination is usually followed by the classic policy of sexual harassment.
With this issue now at the forefront of most employer’s employee handbook, companies are taking the time in explaining the problems associated with discrimination to their employees. Since discrimination is such an issue we will be looking at the moral and ethical obligations that a person of authority has to keep in mind when deciding claims of discrimination. I choose to look at Riordan Manufacturing company in this analysis of the company’s policies that are in effect in an attempt to combat discrimination.
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Discrimination is all around us and yet few of us really know what it feels like to be discriminated against. Usually, when the term discrimination is thrown out their people look at the obvious forms of discrimination: gender, sex, age, or sexual orientation. No one stops to consider the less popular forms of discrimination: Religion, pregnancy, or even medical disabilities. When one thinks of discrimination they think of the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) act that keeps companies from discriminating, yet they do not know how this act came to be.
In 1963 the then president John F. Kennedy proposed the civil rights act, this was the same year the Martin Luther King gave his famous speech in Washington D. C. In 1963, the discrimination to African Americans and other minorities was obscene. They were not given equal education, and when they were, they were not hired as an equal. If they were hired they were not paid as an equal, they were not promoted as an equal, and instead they received harassment. Lyndon Johnson took this act as a priority to congress, in a way that honored the president before him.
The law was passed as the 1964 Civil Rights law in a memorial to the late John F. Kennedy, and today we continue to expand on the basis of this law in an attempt to provide protection for all individuals. At Riordan Manufacturing facility we have adopted the policy of the EEO and we have chosen this as our staple in evaluating claims of discrimination. We take each of our future supervisors as well as current, and place them in a yearly training session to keep them updated on all the latest forms of discrimination.
It is the responsibility of the supervisor to report any claims of discrimination immediately. Even with this safety net in place the only thing that it is going to do is isolate an incident, not prevent it. The only way to truly prevent discrimination in the workplace is through training of all employees not just the supervisors. Discrimination is everywhere today, and some of us do not realize that we discriminate. Close your eyes and think of the day that changed America forever, September 11, 2001.
Due you see the twin towers standing firm like a rock, then plane number 1 hits the tower and black smoke begins to fume out of the colossal tower. A couple minutes later plane number 2 hits the second tower killing thousands of individuals as the event concludes at the end of the day. What feelings arise as a result of this one-day? Do you feel negative thoughts about the groups involved in this blatant attack on American soil? Now the question that I have is; if Zacarias Moussaoui presumed sibling; walked into your place of employment could you hire him/her?
Obviously this is a hypothetical question, but it tests us as individuals as to if we can truly not be discriminative. As future managers, we will be called upon in situations such as these and have to determine what is legal and what is ethical as defined by society, the government, and the company. The law is pretty clear cut as far as discrimination goes and what the punishments are for violation of persons civil liberties. What is ethically expected of the manager is a call of question, because there are so many variables as to determining if a manager has ethics.
Too me ethics is the gray area in a black and white sea, because one can consider them an ethical individual but in the eyes of society they could be calling them righteous. When it comes down to it directly, a manger has the legal and moral obligation of reporting any crime that occurs in his office place. If they choose not to report an infraction that is an obvious sign of a failure in the legal aspect of the problem as well as brings forth issues of moral and ethical well being. Discrimination is a double-edged sword in the workplace, because it has the ability to cut anyone in the office with no regard to safety.
The reason I say this is if you were a witness to discrimination and you did not do anything, would you be labeled as an enabler or be charged with neglect? In today’s day and age I understand the importance of having equal rights for everyone, and the importance of having anti-discriminating clauses. I think we have almost gone over complicated with what is considered discrimination. Let us say I tell a male employee in the workplace nice hair cut, but I did not say anything to the female worker sitting behind him about her hair. Did I just commit an act of discrimination?
Personally, I think that in an attempt to protect more rights of people, we have added our own interpretation of the laws and the courts have agreed with some interpretations. Discrimination has no place in the environment, but will we be able to purge the environment of all discrimination, no. The reason I say this is Mother Nature discriminates, look at the concept of survival of the fittest. Discrimination is rooted in all aspects of our society, until the point in time arises when we all can realize, that everyone is different, we will be dealing with this concept.