Part 5 – Job Satisfaction Chapter 20 Diversity and Rights in the Workplace
Chapter Objectives • Relate current population trends to their effect on workplace diversity. • List the benefits of diversity to an employer. • Describe ways that employers and employees can promote workplace diversity. • Provide examples of employment discrimination forbidden by law. • Explain how to take action against any sexual harassment or discrimination directed at you in the workplace.
Key Concepts • It is the responsibility of both employers and employees to promote diversity in the workplace. • Several federal laws protect people from discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace. • There are steps individuals can take to discourage or end discrimination or harassment behavior.
Diversity Trends in the United States • Factors that cause population differences include: • Cultural heritage. • Language. • Religion. • Gender. • Age. • Disability.
Cultural Heritage • Cultural heritage is one of the greatest factors contributing to U.S. diversity. • Ethnic group: A group of people with common racial and/or cultural characteristics. • The majority of Americans are of European descent, however African-, Asian-, and Hispanic-American populations are growing rapidly. continued
Cultural Heritage • Assimilation: Blending people into society by helping, and sometimes forcing, them to become more like the majority. • In today’s society, the focus is on allowing people to preserve and express their heritage.
Language • More first-generation immigrant workers are entering the workplace with little knowledge of the English language. • This often results in communication problems. • In this ongoing debate, some people feel the employer should have the right to demand competency in English while others think that language should be preserved.
Religion • Workplace problems arise when off-time is given for the observance of practices of one religion but not others. • Increases in religious diversity are caused by: • Immigrants introducing new styles of religious practices. • Traditional religions splitting into factions.
Gender • A huge change in the workplace happened when millions of women got jobs outside the home. • Reasons more women are working: • To earn income needed by the household. • To have the economic freedom that extra income brings. • For the challenge of pursuing a career.
Age • The number of older workers is increasing rapidly. • Employers look for their keen insight, experience, and dependable work habits. • Older workers are finding a need to obtain updated skills.
Disability • Disability includes both physical and mental impairments. • Being disabled does not mean a person cannot be a valuable employee. • Federal law and changing attitudes have increased the visibility of workers with disabilities in the workplace.
The Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace • Workplace diversity: Respecting the contributions of coworkers who are unlike you. • Positive results of employees valuing differences: • Fewer lawsuits. • High morale. • Increased creativity. • Increased productivity. • Quality workers attracted to the organization. • Improved decision-making process. • Improved decision-making speed. • More customers reached. • Goodwill formed with businesses and government groups.
Promoting Diversity in the Workplace • U.S. organizations wanting to sell in a global environment need to manage workplace diversity. • Policies emphasizing diversity can help companies serve customers better anywhere. • Diversity is critical to remain competitive in worldwide markets.
What Employers Are Doing • Many companies are implementing diversity training programs. • The information that is taught in these programs was developed through trial and error. • Diversity training focuses on understanding and accepting people’s differences and viewing them as positive assets.
What Employees Can Do • Employees need to realize how their value systems differ from those of their coworkers. • They must keep an open mind and adjust any negative views they have. • Learning to work with diverse coworkers helps build your character and make you a valuable team member and employee.
Diversity, Rights, and Discrimination • Everyone has the right to fair treatment in the workplace. • Discrimination: Treating people on a basis other than individual merit.
The Law and Discrimination • Laws that promote fairness and fight diversity in the workplace: • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) of 1938. • Equal Pay Act of 1963. • 1964 Civil Rights Act (a 1968 amendment established criminal penalties). • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. • Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. • 1991 Civil Rights Act. continued
The Law and Discrimination • Criminal penalties: A court order to serve a jail sentence, perform community service, pay a fine, and/or report to a court-ordered supervisor for a specified period. • Two government offices that work the most with equal opportunity employment issues are the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). • Many state and local government agencies deal with discriminatory practices locally.
Unlawful workplace behavior includes: Sex discrimination. Racial discrimination. Color discrimination. National origin discrimination. Language discrimination. Religious discrimination. Discriminating against people with disabilities. Age discrimination. Height and weight restrictions. Discrimination based on sexual orientation. Pregnancy and maternity leave discrimination. Types of Discrimination in the Workplace continued
Types of Discrimination in the Workplace • Stereotype: A label given to a person based on assumptions held about all members of that person’s racial or cultural group. • Racism: The belief that one race is superior or inferior to all others. • Sexual orientation: The gender preferred when choosing someone for an emotional/sexual relationship.
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace • Sexual harassment: Unwelcome or unwanted advances, requests for favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. • Sexual harassment is primarily an issue of power since the victim is usually subordinate or less influential. continued
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace • Quid pro quo harassment: One person makes unwelcome sexual advances promising certain benefits if the other person complies. • Hostile environment harassment: Behavior that makes the environment uncomfortable enough that a person cannot do his or her job. May involve posting pictures, playing music, or using body language. • Body language: A means of expressing a message through body movements, facial expressions, or hand gestures. continued
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace • Morale and workplace productivity are affected by sexual harassment. • Victims usually suffer stress, depression, and inability to focus on work. • Employers suffer because the victim and aggressor are less effective in their jobs. • The Civil Rights Act of 1991 allows sexual harassment victims a trial by jury and eligibility for compensatory and punitive damages.
If the aggressor continues after being told the behavior is not wanted, it is considered sexual harassment. It is not sexual harassment if the person is comfortable with or welcomes the aggressive behavior. Recognizing Sexual Harassment
Facing Sexual Harassment or Discrimination • No workplace is unaffected by sexual harassment. • Be prepared to take the necessary steps to stop sexual harassment if it happens to you. • Letting time pass and hoping the aggressor stops rarely helps.
Discouraging the Behavior • Follow these guidelines: • Know your rights to a workplace free of illegal behavior. • Know your company’s policy and reporting procedure. • Be businesslike at all times. • Make your intentions clear and correct any misinterpretations.
Taking Action • If you are subject to sexual harassment or discrimination: • Tell the aggressor to stop. • Keep detailed records. • Report the offense. • Reprisal: The revenge-motivated act of retaliating. • Reprisal is illegal and should be reported to the EEOC.
Thinking Back • How do employers benefit from diversity? • How can you promote diversity in the workplace? • Give examples of employment discrimination. • How should you take action against any sexual harassment or discrimination directed at you in the workplace?