Preventing Workplace Discrimination

“Discrimination undermines employee loyalty, destroys employee morale, and reduces productivity and work quality. It can also lead to costly and painful lawsuits and do irreparable harm to a company’s reputation” (Guerin ; DelPo, 2007, p. 119). Preventing workplace discrimination, therefore, is important to companies because this will make an organization stronger and will provide the employees a more harmonious working environment.

Discrimination can take several forms and there are more than one way of managing such situations, which was demonstrated by the simulation exercise.

One of the discriminating actions a company can show is by not accommodating people with disabilities because they believe that these people are not as competent and skillful as people who do not have disabilities. The simulation had an exercise where in job advertisements were shown and the user had to determine the phrases that can come across as discriminating.

One of the phrases in the simulation stated that the company needed an employee that was “fully mobile to run around to meet client needs,” which was discriminating to people with disabilities, specifically those who are in wheelchairs.

This exercise teaches companies not to judge employees based on their physical abilities. If a person wishes to apply for a certain position, the company should allow him or her and see if he or she is capable of doing the required tasks without his or her disability becoming in the way of his or her work.

The job advertisement exercise also required the user to determine a discriminating phrase regarding drug use and abuse wherein future employees will be required to submit to drug testing.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to know if a person has drug problems because it will ultimately be for the best of the company. However, this should not be included in job advertisements because one, it is discriminating, and two, pre-employment tests usually cover drug testing so the company should not worry about it.

It is also important for companies to determine a job-seeker’s attitude regarding work to see if he or she has the same drive that the company is looking for. No one wants to hire someone who has no passion for the work that he or she applying for. This will only be a waste of time and money for both parties. The simulation demonstrated this by including some facts about the five applicants that were shortlisted for the positions. Information like religious beliefs and practices and personal stands regarding important national issues are included for the benefit of the human resource department.

Title VII can definitely override the employment environment and conditions detailed in a written employment contract between an employer and an employee because title VII is a federal law and should be followed no matter what the written employment contract indicates. In addition, employees should not agree to a written employee contract that does not conform to the conditions that are stated in title VII because this can only lead to legal problems in the future when they encounter discriminating practices in the workplace environment.

In conclusion, companies need to remember that they have to adhere to the conditions that are stated in title VII to avoid costly lawsuits and prevent their reputation from being destroyed. They have to provide a fair and unbiased working environment to employees, future or tenured, to maintain a structured organization that will work toward the success of the company. Reference

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