Discrimination in Business. Specifically It Will Compare Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

discrimination in business. Specifically it will compare and contrast my opinion of the definition of reverse discrimination, and how equal employment laws relate to the equal employment opportunity. Reverse discrimination is the practice of denying employment to certain races or genders in order to meet hiring quotas or hire to meet racial quotas. It attempts to hire more minorities to help them prosper and grow in business, but many people feel those hiring choices are discriminatory toward others who are not members of that particular race.

All employers confront the challenge of hiring an equal number of women and people of color, as well as white employees, from a pool of qualified applicants. One author notes this is a challenging and complex task. He notes, "Confronting the challenge of equal employment opportunity is a continuing and complex responsibility for all employers" (Gullett, 2000, p. 107). Equal employment opportunity laws were created to level the employment playing field and give every qualified applicant access to the same job. However, opponents feel that often many employers pass over white or male applicants who are qualified for the job, because they do not have enough women and minorities on the payroll. This is how reverse discrimination works. Proponents feel that it helps create a diverse workforce that is fair to all, while opponents feel it is simply another form of discrimination, veiled in federal law. Author Gullett continues, "Affirmative action provides some consideration of a person's race, gender, or ethnicity in making decisions for selection, promotion, retention, or other personnel action" (Gullett, 2000, p. 107). When that affirmative action wavers, or is misunderstood, then problems can occur and charges of reverse discrimination can occur. It is the employer's job to understand the employment laws and how they affect their hiring practices.

Equal employment laws were created after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed. They were intended to diversify business and industry and create more opportunities for all races, ethnicities, and genders. They were also created in an attempt to rectify previous employment practices that were indeed discriminatory. What generally gets a company in trouble with racial discrimination is when they set policies that favor one race over another, even if they are underrepresented in their own employees, especially when compared to the surrounding area. There have been many Supreme Court cases representing just these issues. For example, a company realizes that supervisors are mainly white males, so they create an Affirmative Action program to promote more females, minorities, and disabled employees to supervisors, even if they have less experience than white male counterparts. Author Gullet discusses one such case, where a government agency implemented a plan. He notes, "Long-term percentage goals were set to reflect the market, but no hard and fast timetables were established. In carrying out the plan, the Department of Transportation for the county considered race, ethnicity, and gender as factors in making hiring and promotion decisions" (Gullett, 2000, p. 107). In this particular case, a woman applied for a dispatcher job, and, since no woman had ever held the job, was promoted over a man who had slightly higher scores in the test. In this particular case, the Supreme Court ruled that the hiring was justified, because the agency had several qualified candidates after testing, and that the decision to hire a woman, underrepresented in the workforce, was legal, since only one of the several candidates could actually get the job.

Equal employment laws were meant to rectify shoddy hiring practices, and they are still useful in that regard. Many public agencies must follow strict guidelines in hiring women, minorities, and disabled workers in relationship to the numbers of these residents in their communities. For example, courts decided against practices in the City of Richmond, Virginia, because they found that they had a high African-American…

Sources Used in Document:


Gullett, C.R. (2000). Reverse discrimination and remedial affirmative action in employment: Dealing with the paradox of nondiscrimination. Public Personnel Management, 29(1), 107.

Sander, R.H. (2004). A systemic analysis of affirmative action in American law schools. Stanford Law Review, 57(2), 367+.

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