Let’s take a moment to think about how it would feel to know that you were not eligible for a job because of something that was completely out of your control. You know that you have all of the credentials, all the expertise, knowledge, and capabilities; however, you are not fully under consideration by an organization due to your race, gender, age, national origin, or your religion. The exercise of job discrimination is unfortunately still a common practice for many businesses as we will discuss below. In history when we think about discrimination we think of segregation and due to this period of time, it set in a long fighting motion to create particular acts that should protect individual rights. These Acts are The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Equal Pay Act of 1963 (EPA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), Title I and Title V of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (ADA and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, (History.com Staff, 2010).Order now
This essay will cover the effects that job discrimination can create internally within a business. Job discrimination is an unethical practice that hurts not only the community but ruins an organizations reputation. When it comes to writing job descriptions, HR managers must be mindful to use wording that will not discriminate against age, race, gender, religion, national origin, and disability. Those six categories are specifically protected by law. In other words, you can’t use those criteria as a basis for disqualifying a candidate for employment unless the requirement is reasonably related to the job duties. In order to write a well-written job description; a job title, list of responsibilities, required skills, experience, and credentials are essential. Most importantly, legal advice should be consulted to ensure that the job description is by no means discriminative that would cause a lawsuit.
One of the most common forms of job discrimination is age discrimination.
Age discrimination is the practice of not hiring people or not promoting people because of their age and the perceived decline in abilities associated with advancing age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 was established to ensure that age discrimination was prohibited in the workplace. According to the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission website this Act was created to mitigate segregation and classification of older workers who may have otherwise been forced out of retirement, promotions or other forms of opportunity in the workforce, (EEOC.gov). An article released by Forbes.com included a Human Resource Management survey where it was established that many organizations are not prepared to address the aging workforce and unfortunately this means that many older employees are at risk of having their rights violated. This can severely impact an organization if management and employees are not fully educated on the
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) as this opens doors for legal action and loss of profit to a business. There is a bias that with age, you become more resistant to change, do not have the abilities that their counterpart of a younger generation may have. The Age Discrimination Act of 1975 is aimed at prohibiting this practice, but it is often hard to decipher these kinds of cases (EEOC, n.d.). In order to mitigate the risk of this ethical violation and ensure the utmost productivity, relationships, and morale are met it would be best practice to clarify the tasks and responsibilities of the job in the title. Inaccurate job titles may illegally eliminate some potential candidates from becoming hired. If unsure of an accurate job title consult the U.S. Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles. It lists jobs by occupational groups, functions, and responsibilities, defining the principal tasks each job involves, this can be found directly on the UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration website.
Age discrimination, like any discrimination, is wholly unethical and challenges the moral responsibility we have to all individuals. What is even more troublesome is that more often than not older workers tend to be more dependable, harder working, have experience, and leadership skills that younger generations can learn a lot from, “Older workers may not have the same tech-savvy of their younger colleagues, but they have years of experience you can’t teach or replace.”, (Giang, 2013).
Ethical decision-making in an organization needs to be at the forefront, otherwise, it can affect an organization negatively if it is perceived that they engaged in job discrimination. Management and Human Resource Managers are at the helm of the organization and in order to take a stand against the discrimination they must think about position responsibilities, abilities, skills, and experiences requirements thoroughly when looking to fill a position. One company in particular that has neglected to practice these rights and acts and currently under scrutiny is the NFL and their hire of a new Security Chief who let nine security officers go despite their 11 years of service to the industry with NFL, all individuals are 60 years old or older, all of their replacements are 10-25 years younger than them, the new Security Chief claimed their let go was due to “moving in a different direction”, now the NFL is facing legal action against their lack of education on The Age Discrimination Act of 1975. The lawsuit is seeking $10 million in damages, (Crabtree, 2018).
Major organizations who are in the limelight for such violations should be a lesson to other business to consult legal counsel when they are unsure about writing job descriptions or conducting exit interviews. I feel the NFL is always the center of some type of analysis for violations and it will be interesting to follow the outcome of this current age discrimination suit because depending on the outcome this will speak volumes for the type of company they are and how many other doors this will open for further rights and acts violated by management among their employees.
Discrimination is unethical, period. Organizations should practice ethical business practices to uphold the laws and acts created throughout our history as this is a social responsibility. Corporations can implement fair hiring procedures and adopt an organizational culture that is not tolerant of any form of discrimination.