Prevention Manual is a useful, but not wholly encompassing, tool to current and/or future managers because it does include a synopsis of different types of discrimination and tips on how to avoid them, however, it does have limitations on the information it provides. Discrimination is based on a number of things: race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and recently, genetic information.
If a manager is not aware of discrimination laws and their implications, they could open themselves up to a number of lawsuits. A manger’s goal should always be to avoid discrimination in the first place, but even when managers are aware of the laws and exercise common sense, there is always a possibility of being sued. While not discussed in the book, it is necessary to note that diversity is not simply just an employment equity issue; it can also be an asset. With different thinking and problem-solving styles, a company is provided a competitive edge.
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However, this books purpose is how to, firstly, prevent discrimination, but it also discusses how to prevent lawsuits in future workplaces by informing you about the different types of discrimination and owe to act appropriately. TO understand the laws and how to avoid lawsuits, the reader must first understand the principles of the law. “Employment discrimination law is founded on the principle that each person has characteristics that 1) the person cannot change, 2) do not affect the person’s job performance, and 3) some employers dislike. With a better understanding of the basics of employment discrimination law, it is time to go into further detail about the types. The first type of discrimination that is discussed is race discrimination. Upon hearing the words “race discrimination”, most think of quotas and affirmative action, but race discrimination involves more than this. The days of just a black-and-white society is long gone. America is a mosaic of people, blended with different ethnicities and races, and the workplace should reflect this. In fact, it is actually the law.
People are guaranteed to not be discriminated against based on race, this right is guaranteed by Title VII. Robinson informs us that we should be “colliding”. He suggests thinking of skin color as sunscreen, it is a function of climate, not brainpower. With this mindset, as a future manager, this could greatly reduce the likelihood of getting sued for ace discrimination. However, in some instances, we do not get to be color blind. The example the author gives us is that if two applicants are equally qualified and the workforce is overwhelmingly white, it may prove beneficial to not be colliding.
In the unfortunate event that a minority is fired due to poor performance, it could prove to be incredibly beneficial to have a paper trail documenting that poor performance. While it should be mandatory to document all workers’ behaviors, it comes in handy should any minority wish to sue because they think that they were the victims of discrimination. Many employees are not aware that most discrimination happens in the recruiting and selection phase of employment, not during, or the unfortunate instance of being fired.
Whatever the case, the foremost question in any manager’s mind should be, “What does the law say? ” In the calamitous situation that a race discrimination lawsuit is filed, you always want to be on the side of the law. As aforementioned, today’s society is not just black-and-white. These laws do not hold true for just African-Americans, but anyone of color. One must always abide by the law, because there are a number of lawsuits that can happen for race discrimination. Disparate treatment (knowingly and deliberately discriminating) and disparate impact (unintentional effect of employment practices) are two examples.
Though, at first, the world of avoiding race discrimination may seem a foreboding place, with a wrong choice at every corner, it can easily be navigated if you remember a few of the tips from the book. Simply use common sense, avoid generalization, do not accentuate the bad in others of another race, be on the side of the law, and you will achieve diversity without discrimination. Gender discrimination is the next, important type brought up for discussion. In the last half century, many adult females have joined the workforce, many times doing the same work as men.
Adult women make up 51% Of the population; it seems only natural that the workforce should reflect this. Many of the same rules that stood true for avoiding race discrimination stand true for gender discrimination as well: no lumping people together, no stereotyping, and no belittling. It should also be noted to not referee adult females over the age of 18 as “girls”. Most males in the workforce are referred to as “men” or “guys”, and so “girls” is seen as belittling women. It is important o treat everyone the same. Women often face a double-edged sword.
If they are in lower-level positions in a company and are content staying there, they are often seen as lacking ambition or inferior. However, if a woman is In a position of authority, the words power-hungry, formidable, cold, bossy, etc. Are often used to describe her. It is also important to realize women are not the only victims of gender discrimination; men can face discrimination as well. They can also file suits and win. The key is to not single out one gender. However, women get specific treatment in one area: pregnancy. Pregnancy is a form of sex discrimination as well.
Companies with 15 or more employees treat it as a short term illness. A shortcoming of this book is that it fails to mention that men are often discriminated against with FEM.. Laws regarding pregnancy. Women are given an average of 1 2 weeks of FEM.. Leave for pregnancy while, Overall, men get little to none. Granted, women are still recovering from giving birth, they also are allowed valuable time with the families. Men are slowly acquiring rights to pregnancy leave as well. In fact, in a company I previously worked for, men were granted 1 6 weeks of FEM.. Which could be used for pregnancy or any other family situations.
The only exception to this was that if both the mother and father worked at the company, they could only have 16 weeks of leave combined. Pregnancy may seem “bad” for productivity, and while it may seem true in the short run, it is a great asset in the long-run. The woman will work harder to provide for her family. Women can most certainly flourish in the workplace and at home. There are studies, and personal opinions, that may show that one gender is smarter or better equipped to work a certain job or in an industry, etc and hose should all be ignored.
For example, white males have absolutely dominated the executive jobs, and this is going to the side way. Pepsico not only has a woman for the CEO, but a woman of color. My previous company has also made strides of having women in executive positions; they have a woman as CUFF. Although, something could be said since they have yet to have a woman as CEO. The glass ceiling is most certainly melting, but it has yet to be broken. Sexual harassment is another type of discrimination that can bring lawsuits. It comes in many form such as quid pro quo, sexually hostile, and callousness forms.
Quid pro quo is when a boss makes employment decisions based on whether a subordinate will have sexual, or romantic, relations with them. This does not have to be outright and forthcoming. It is most likely that this form is subtle. Sexually hostile is outright; it is “sexual advances, sexual conduct, or sexual comments that are so severe or so repetitious that they make it more difficult for the victim to do her job. ” Miscellaneous types include third-party sexual harassment and sexual favoritism. The previous company I worked for frequently worked with vendors.
Problems arose with the vendors, not sexual harassment related, and the company made it clear that when they signed their contracts they were to be held to the same code of conduct as the company, including their strict policy on sexual harassment. “Sexual harassment is about power.. .And sex. ” While it is true of all discrimination lawsuits, sexual harassment is a prime example of only terminated employees suing, though the author does mention that union workers will usually sue while still employed. The book also mentions that this applies to member of the same sex, including males.
One negative aspect of this section is the author repeatedly uses “her and “she” as the victim. This language is not conducive with the tone he sets in his book; a more neutral pronoun would be appropriate. A suggestion that would have for companies is to have an 800 number that employees can call to report not only sexual harassment but any other unethical behavior going on as well. Employees are much more likely to share their knowledge of these events if they can do so anonymously and alleviate the risk of having a coworker, specifically the one committing the unethical behavior, retaliate against them. Eve, personally, encountered sexual harassment more times than can count. I have had different encounters and different experiences with each company I have worked for, varying from each extreme on the spectrum of how seriously they took it. One of the more negative experiences I have had is I have had a fellow male coworker that would continuously grab at my body and make degrading remarks. The worst punishment he ever received was a verbal warning despite continuously repeated offenses.
On the other end, I had a male coworker who would continuously stare at my breasts. While it made me uncomfortable, I did not report it because of my previous negative experiences with reporting sexual harassment. A supervisor witnessed this behavior and approached me, inquisitive of how this made me feel. I was honest, and said that it made me uncomfortable. The supervisor immediately talked with the coworker, and he underwent sensitivity training. While would have been satisfied with just a verbal warning, I felt much safer after this instance.
I felt the company truly had my best interests and safety in mind. Because of this, I felt an intense loyalty to the company afterwards. Religion is another type of discrimination. In religion, it is important to remember that you must require all sects to prove their faith if you require one to do so. Another important note to remember with religion is you must offer “reasonable accommodation” for religious practices, so long as the accommodations do not interfere with the workplace productivity.
There is a difference between services and decoration. Very few corporations have been sued because of decorations though all religious sects should feel like they are welcome to hang decorations celebrating their holiday. Services are a rockier matter, however. It is not illegal to hold the services, but it would be illegal to make it mandatory for employees to attend one. Expressing religious views is also a tricky matter. While it is legal to express views, it is illegal to discriminate.
Should the organization ever come under religious discrimination lawsuit, it would be in your favor if no one knew your personal beliefs, thus, making it harder to prove that you were discriminating or prejudiced. All discrimination has certain complexities about it, but disability has a little bit more than the rest. The definition of disability is incredibly ague: “a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of [the employee]. ” Major life activities could include any number of things.
More often than not, the major life activity that employers equate disability with is an inability to work. This is not true; every disability does not mean that the worker is not as equally productive as a worker who is not disabled. Another misconception is that bayou have a disabled worker, you must accept less-than work; this is also not true. If a worker is not able to keep up with the work standards that everyone is held o, the employer has a valid reason to fire the disabled worker. Age is another protected group though this is one that it seems most people hear less about than others.
This most likely comes into play more in the hiring process than the employment stage or termination. It is not an unknown fact that most companies are more prone to hiring younger workers, and if the younger applicant is equally qualified then that is legal. The misconception about age is that most people assume workers get fired because they are too old by company standards. While this may prove to be true in some instances, it is usually false. An older worker is typically fired because of performance which may be a side effect of old age.
Age discrimination differs from the other types in one very powerful way: the worker holds some of the power. While a worker cannot change how old they are, they can change other things. They can maintain the physical conditions necessary to complete the job, stay up-to-date with technology, stay educated (this may even include going back to school to get a degree). With multiple years on- the-job experience and an unrelenting desire to stay productive and not become complacent, you make yourself become irreplaceable. Sexual orientation discrimination is one of the new, emerging types of discrimination.
Even the more progressive companies have only started offering full benefits to partners, and many companies still do not. It is within the company’s rights to have the person prove that they are truly of the LIGHT community. However, unless for the reason of giving benefits to a partner, it would be in the employers’ best interests if they had no idea if their employees were gay, straight, or anything in between. It is hard to discriminate based on sexual orientation if you do not know what someone’s sexual orientation is. Genetics information is very relatively new.
It IS now protected under federal, and some select states, law. Many employees’ fears about genetics information is more about the changes to healthcare than anything else. Many fear that companies will be able to see if you are prone to disease and higher health insurance premiums could be based upon genetics and/or unhealthy lifestyle. Only time will tell if this is the case or not. The book discusses discriminatory language. As children, we were always taught that actions speak louder than words. This is not the case in discrimination lawsuits.
Not only words, but also their perceived meaning can be the heart of a lawsuit. Work takes up a third of the average worker’s day, if not more. Once you spend 8 hours a day, 5 days a week with someone, you start to feel like family. While families are loving, they also pick on each other. This kind of language is usually understood by the work “family members”, but newcomers may see it as being a form of discrimination. Make it a point to always be careful about what you, and your workers, say. Always try to make neutral statements when possible. Everyone is guilty of using this language.
The key is to try to always be mindful of the other person’s perception. Should you say something considered discriminatory, and the case gets taken to court, the perception, not the intent, Of what you said will be considered the “reality’ of the statement. The final chapter is tips on how to reduce damages/lawyers’ fees. The majority of the book goes into how to prevent lawsuits, this chapter goes into how to avoid major financial turmoil should you be involved in a lawsuit. They can hurt larger companies but absolutely devastate smaller companies and wipe them off the business map.
Robinson discusses checking into the Max APS where you are located, but the most beneficial tips for keeping legal costs down is to follow the law and invest money into diversity training. In conclusion, modern discrimination is hidden in everyday interaction, making it hard to point out, but it does not make it any less harmful. It should be required of all management to undergo diversity training, and on individual issues, have the employee in question undergo training as well. Training will not cure discrimination, but it will help move companies forward.