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Labor Discrimination. Jason Williams Angie Carreón. Discrimination. There are many forms of labor discrimination including but not limited to: Gender Ethnicity and race Religion Special needs L anguage Age. Gender Discrimination.

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Labor discrimination

Labor Discrimination

Jason Williams

Angie Carreón


  • There are many forms of labor discrimination including but not limited to:

    • Gender

    • Ethnicity and race

    • Religion

    • Special needs

    • Language

    • Age

Gender discrimination
Gender Discrimination

  • In the past, one of the most common types of labor discrimination was gender discrimination against females

  • Back then, there was an exclusion of women in curriculum

    • causing their inability to obtain a higher position, which required specific education.

  • Additionally, they were victims of overlooked sexual harassment.

  • Things are gradually changing

Gender discrimination1
Gender Discrimination

  • During the 1900’s women were permitted to obtain the same type of education as men, which allowed them to move up in rank.

  • However this was a slow process before a true sense of equality was reached.

  • Oberlin College was one of the first colleges to allow women to attend their school, but under the stipulation that they washed the laundry and rooms of the male students (Danuta Bois, 1997).

Gender discrimination2
Gender Discrimination

  • Additionally, a “glass ceiling” was created, which prohibited them from obtaining the higher positions within a company.

  • During recent news castings, it was reported that only 9 to 12 women are CEOs out of all of the Fortune 500 companies thus showing some barriers still exist.

Gender discrimination3
Gender Discrimination

  • Many scholars believe that gender bias lowers self-confidence, and may contribute to failure (Redman)

  • Today, some cases are more obvious than others.

    • For example, at my job, the male supervisor is included in management meetings. He is also allowed to be part of some of decision making process. However, the female supervisor does not receive such opportunities, and is often time not informed of the decisions and changes made, which in turns creates communication barriers and lowers her willingness to cooperate

What can management do
What Can Management Do?

  • By creating standard policies and procedures for communication that follows a network chain of command, through a proper communication strategy, thorough dissemination of information is inevitable.


  • Communication is the bridge to success. A Lack of communication or knowledge of an area can create bias, hesitation and miscommunication. In the modern world that we live in, where a text message can be read across the globe in matters of seconds and resources for communication are abundant, a lack of communication is due to lack of effort, not inability

Gender discrimination4
Gender Discrimination

  • A more subtle example of gender discrimination can be seen when providing praise; the operations manager at my current job has a tendency to acknowledge the analytical skills of males while only acknowledging the organizational skill of females

  • What came first, the chicken or the egg?

  • Gender discrimination5
    Gender Discrimination

    • Women are often also faced with barriers because of the fear companies have over the cost of pregnancy leave and the accommodations they have to make when their employee becomes pregnant. Additionally, pregnant individuals have the need to use the restrooms more often, which some employers directly tie to decreased production.

    Ethnicity race discrimination
    Ethnicity/Race Discrimination

    • Ethnicity is viewed as a subgroup of race, most commonly related to national origin (Gollnick & Chinn, 2004).

    • Race can then be defined as a “system of categorization designed to distinguish between groups of persons on the basis of perceived physical differences

    • Today, most view race as a socially-constructed concept. However, some still hold the view of race and that some races are superior to others” (Redman).

    Ethnicity race discrimination1
    Ethnicity/Race Discrimination

    • Demographics in the labor sector are more diverse now than ever, and will continue to diversify as the years pass and globalization extends.

      • Changes have been made to protect minorities.

    • Now a day, it is more difficult to find a blatant case of racial or ethnic discrimination.

      • However, this does not mean that such type of discrimination is non-existent

      • Instead, we witness institutionalized racism, which is similar to current gender discrimination in the sense that is less obvious and therefore more difficult to prove

    Case resolution
    Case & Resolution

    • Fox example, the Chicago Fire Department continued the use an entrance test from 1995 that a federal judge ruled discriminates against black applicants. In 1995 the applicants needed to obtain a score of 64 or higher.

    • The Chicago Fire Department then added a criteria that gave priority to those who score 89 or higher, which only 11% of African-Americans scored.

    Case resolution1
    Case & Resolution

    • This month, the seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Chicago Fire Department must hire the 111 African-American candidates who passed the entrance exam

    • After this final decision, the Chicago Fire Department has changed their entrance exam to a pass/fail test


    Age discrimination
    Age Discrimination

    • Ageism can be described as a “systematic stereotyping and discrimination against older people” (Butler, 1975).

    • Despite of the fact that the United States’ Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) has been in place for over 35 years, age discrimination in employment remains pervasive (McCann, 2003).

    Age culture
    Age & Culture

    • Many cultures esteem and maintain a high respect towards their elders.

    • The American Culture on the other hand, fears the aging process because it is viewed as counter to the highly valued attributes of beauty, vitality and health (Ventrell, 2002).

    Us school system
    US School System

    • Today, we see an example of this effect with teachers through the USA where administration continues to struggle to stay in business and must therefore balance their budgets.

    • In union jobs, many employers cannot fire those with a higher level of experience teaching without first releasing those with less experience.

      • As a loophole, we see many examples where schools will fire all the teachers and rehire new or less experienced teacher in order to save expenses.

    Institutional ageism
    Institutional Ageism

    • A known type of age discrimination in the work place is institutional ageism, which are the established rules and practices that discriminate individuals and groups based on age.

      • Mandatory retirement at a certain age (Dennis & Thomas)

    • Manifestations of ageism in our current times include refusal to hire or promote, limiting opportunities and responsibilities, etc.

      • Retirement incentives may pressure older workers to retire prematurely and benefits may be reduced for those who continue working beyond “normal retirement age”. (McRae)

    Shift in age discrimination
    Shift in Age Discrimination

    • Age discrimination is experiencing a drastic shift.

    • Previously, overqualified individuals were turned away

    • Now, there is an influx of overqualified applicants who are not only willing to work menial and/or labor jobs but are committed to the employment opportunity because there are none others

    Shift in age discrimination1
    Shift in Age Discrimination

    • Influx of older more qualified employees in labor and lower level jobs

      • Resulted on a new form of ageism where younger less experienced applicants are devalued

      • Thus, high school and college graduates are faced with few options and left to either unemployment or continue their education until this influx trend reverses as the economy improves.

    Emerging discrimination
    Emerging Discrimination

    • According to the LL Roberts Group, there is an emerging type of labor discrimination: Unemployment.

    • Drummond from Mercury News explains in his article “Job Discrimination Against Unemployed a New Low” that some employers have recently added “must be currently employed” on the employment ads.

    • The EEOC is investigating whether banning unemployed individuals from applicant pools is unlawful under the federal discrimination laws. 

    Emerging discrimination1
    Emerging Discrimination

    • New Jersey has outlawed the publishing of employment ads that

      • Discriminates against the unemployed

      • Penalizes unemployed people for conditions that may be beyond their control

      • Hurts government efforts to reduce unemployment rates (Drummond)

    How to avoid
    How to Avoid

    • In order to avoid instances like the cases above, HR departments should review hiring procedures and policies prior to recruitment process begin. (

    Special needs
    Special Needs

    • Discrimination against individuals with special needs/disabilities, also known as “ableism”, takes many forms. It ranges from the use of degrading words such as “retard” or “retarded” to the rejection of a job or job advancement. “

    • As in the case of other oppressed groups, individuals with special needs often come to feel that others view them as less worthy, leading to feelings of low self-worth and reduced interest of endeavors.

    Lujan vs maritime association
    Lujan vs. Maritime Association

    • In 1999 the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Lujan v. Maritime Association ruled “Lujan could argue that he was a qualified individual with disability under the ADA as the individual can perform some tasks.

      • Therefore he should not be denied the opportunity of advancement on the grounds that his physical disability prevents him from performing some assignments which he is not required to accept.”


    What should management do
    What Should Management Do?

    • As is the case for hiring, management needs to have a checklist of requirements for a candidate to be considered as qualified for promotion.

    • In those same lines, there should be a clear description of what is expected from the employee in order to receive advancement, whether it is seniority by length of time with the company, performance, and ability to perform X Y and Z tasks with reasonable accommodation, or a combination of thereafter.

    More on special needs
    More on Special Needs

    • Furthermore, often the establishment is not up to current ADA codes and the employer would therefore have to bring the facilities up to code before their employee would physically be able to enter the workplace.

      • A simple example is wheelchair ramps and doors which can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. If the workplace does not make these improvements they can and often will be sued which can end up costing them millions. This practice often builds barriers before the person even applies as a form of discrimination.

    Religious discrimination
    Religious Discrimination

    • Religious discrimination is also a common practice that has been seen throughout the history of labor in the United States.

      • Through examples of Catholic Irish in books such as “The Jungle” to current religious discrimination practices against Muslims.

    Religious discrimination1
    Religious Discrimination

    • There are often issues in the labor workforce when followers of the Islamic faith must answer their daily call to prayer.

    • Additionally, there have been many issues faced with those women who are part of the more traditional sect that are required to wear their hijab for religious purposes, which covers their face, are forced to take them off when pictures are taken for their employee ID.

    Education discrimination
    Education Discrimination

    • Briggs vs Duke Power Company

      • Supreme Court Case (1971)

      • African Americans only allowed to work in Labor Department (lowest-paying jobs)

      • Required a high-school diploma/IQ Tests for higher paying jobs

    • Many companies are using “degree preferred” as a way to get around being liable for discrimination

      • Helps to “weed” out people they don’t want

    Work Cited

    • Butler, R. N. 1975. Why Survive?: Being Old in America. San Francisco. Harper & Row.

    • By SoyoungKwak in News on May 14, 2011

    • Dennis, Helen 7 Thomas, Kathryn. Ageism in the Workplace. Volume XXXI.

    • Gollnick, D. M., & Chinn, P. C. (2004). Multicultural education in a pluralistic society.

    • McCann, L. 2003. Age Discrimination in Employment Legislation in the United States Experience. Washington D.C.: AARP Foundation Letigation.

    • Mcae, Sally. Age Discrimination in the Workplace.

    • Multimedia edition (6thed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Prentice Hall.

    • Redman, George L. “A Casebook for Exploring Diversity”.

    • Drummond, Trammerlin. Job Discrimination Against Unemployed a New Low.

    • LL Roberts Group.

    • (Danuta Bois, 1997). Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825-1921). Retrieved from:

    • Malone, Louis P., Murray, Teresa W., Smith, Dorisa. Federal Employment Discrimination Cases.