Discrimination and Harassment at the Workplace Essay

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Workplace discrimination leads to a mismatch between qualified workers and their jobs, and it carries significant economic consequences in the American workplace.

Okechukwu, Souza, Davis and Castro (2014) define workplace discrimination as unfair rules and conditions that impair the ability of group members. It is motivated by inferiority and mistreatment of the disadvantaged group over the dominant group. It is based on races and even occurs among disadvantaged groups themselves. For example, some ethnic groups are favored than immigrant workers. Discrimination does exist with respect to age, gender, and disabilities as well. Though Americans prohibit societal and historical influences among the workers through the Disabilities Act, it does persist. Workplace discrimination is unequal treatment of employees whereas workplace harassment involves negative actions toward a worker with respect to race/ethnicity, gender, etc. Sexual harassment includes sexist behavior, sexual hostility, unwanted sexual attention, and sexual coercion in which one's gender or sex is the primary target.

According to Bhattarai (2016), discrimination and harassment happen in many workplaces and one such incident happened in august 9, 2016 in which Chipotle Mexican Grill was ordered to pay $550,000 to a former employee of its Dupont Circle store for having discriminated and fired a pregnant employee. Doris Garcia Hernandez, 31, who worked at the Chipotle on M. Street NW, adds that she was not allowed to drink water and take breaks after her pregnancy in November 2011. She was fired later for leaving early for doctor's appointment and she got $50,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages.

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Harassments are tolerated in some situations as per the culture of the workplace. For example, few would get used to such discriminations and others never tell about it just because they might be isolated from their colleagues or lose their employment altogether. Another reason is that even when they disclose it, no measures would be taken even though laws against it do exist. To make the situation worse, the employers prefer people who never disclose such harassments just because in such a case they need to deal with the issue first hand.

The Impact of Discrimination on Individual Workers and Society

Workplace discrimination is a violation of federal and state laws and Title VII of The Civil Rights Act, 1964, prohibits "discrimination in terms and conditions of employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, and religion." The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age discrimination (above 40 years) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) urge "reasonable accommodations" for the disabled. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) tell that employees must not be discriminated with personal or medical needs. Failure to implement these directives, discrimination can lead to….....

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ACAS. (2005, March). Tackling discrimination and promoting equality. Retrieved December 7, 2016, from ACAS: http://www.acas.org.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=318

Bhattarai, A. (2016, August 8). Chipotle ordered to pay $550,000 for discriminating against pregnant worker. Retrieved from The Washington Post: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/chipotle-ordered-to-pay-550000-for-discriminating-against-pregnant-worker/2016/08/09/

Nayab, N. (2010, September 9). Crippling Effects of Workplace Discrimination. Retrieved December 7, 2016, from Bright Hub: http://www.brighthub.com/office/human-resources/articles/87966.aspx

Okechukwu, C. A., Souza, K., Davis, K. D., & Castro, A. B. (2014). 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. Retrieved from Wiley Online Library: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajim.22221/full

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