AFRS 100S: Language Skills
20 February 2013
Racial Discrimination Against Minorities
Discrimination can vary in form, depending on how it is expressed, by whom, and against whom, and can occur in all aspects of life. Discrimination in the workplace, either overt or subtle, can greatly harm employees’ work experiences as well as expose the company to litigation if it violates any of the federal or state laws in place to protect certain groups. Discrimination against members of any minority group, whether based on sex, race, color or other classification, occurs when members of such a group are treated differently from other employees, solely because they are among that group.
Sex discrimination cases may be brought under the two different theories of disparate treatment and disparate impact. A disparate treatment case involves an organization's policy, which treats similarly situated employees differently, based on their gender or sexual orientation. In a disparate impact case, an individual must show that the organization's policy has a disproportionate adverse impact on persons of one's own gender or sexual orientation. The Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ) contained in Title VII allows an organization to hire and employ individuals on the basis of their qualifications reasonably necessary to the normal operation of that particular business or enterprise. Examples are men attendants in a men's lavatory, and women attendants in a women's lavatory.
Another type of discrimination that can occur in the workplace is harassment, sometimes called a hostile work environment. This exists when the employee feels threatened or belittled because of her minority classification. The employer may not take any tangible actions, but the employee still feels discriminated against because of her minority classification. The hostile work environment for harassment must be based on minority classification in order to be...