Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
May 3, 2012
Rachel M. Conley
Table of Contents
Since some kind of a job or career path plays a large part in most people’s lives, whether it is school related to gain a career or currently involved in a career, it is necessary to discuss the rapid increase of gender discrimination. The cumulative numbers of reported cases means that a number of changes need to be done to help prevent and deter this from future occurrences. Through research, this essay will propose ways that would be beneficial to both employees as well as employers. Possible solutions will be proposed in order to help mitigate damages that are incurred from discrimination cases. Introduction
Eliot Engel once said, “Too small is our world to allow discrimination, bigotry and intolerance to thrive in any corner of it, let alone in the United States of America.” However, discrimination just so happens to be one of the many issues that is on the rise in the United States. This paper will emphasize the problem and impact of gender discrimination. Furthermore, this paper will show statistics, laws, and trends that that affect the narrower topics of sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. Gender Discrimination
Gender discrimination can be simply defined as a difference in treatment on the basis of sex. FindLaw says that it is not only the difference in treatment that constitutes discrimination, but the act must also be unequal which in turn makes it unfair (Sex / Gender Discrimination: Overview). Gender discrimination ruins the morale of employees and can have a negative effective on the productivity. The reasons that people choose to discriminate against employees, whether they realize it or not, it is an unacceptable problem that needs to be corrected. Originally passed in 1964, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act is a federal law that was adopted as an attempt to eliminate all discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, and color (Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management). It was later modified in 1991 to add monetary damages in cases that involved intentional employment discrimination (Laws and Definitions). Although both of these laws try to prevent this problem, it is still a dominant concern.
Exhibit 1 in the Appendix shows the number of cases reported over the years and is classified by type of discrimination. The graph demonstrates that there is a positive trend that is onset in 2006. As indicated by the graph, there were nearly 35,000 claims reported in 2006 alone.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that there were a total of 371 lawsuits in 2006 (The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). This number does not represent the number of cases that went unreported. Exhibit 2 in the Appendix shows that of these 371 cases, 166 were sex based discrimination. This accounts for almost half of all suits filed which is one indicator that gender discrimination is a problem.
To prove that this is still a current problem, here is an example of a recent case that has taken place. Merritt v. Old Dominion Freight (Kingston, 2010) is a recent case that occurred when Deborah Merritt, an experienced truck driver who went without any incidents, wanted to switch positions to a pick-up and delivery driver so she can spend nights and weekends at home. When a permanent pick-up and delivery position had opened up and she talked to the terminal manager about the position. He turned her down and hired a far less experienced man. Again, another position had opened up and again she applied for the position. For the...