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Business Ethics Reverse Discrimination - Term Paper Example

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Reverse Discrimination in the Workplace BY YOU YOUR TUTOR HERE DATE HERE Reverse Discrimination in the Workplace Introduction There are many labor laws that forbid discrimination in the workplace which identify protected class groups that include ethnic minorities, those of advancing age, and females (to name only a few)…
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Business Ethics Reverse Discrimination
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Download file to see previous pages However, there is a phenomenon referred to as reverse discrimination, which is defined as occurring “when a person is denied an opportunity because of preferences given to protected-class individuals who may be less qualified” (Mathis & Jackson, 2005, p.103). In this situation, it must be proven that the organization where the individual is employed was denied opportunities or received discriminatory actions because a member of a protected class was given preferential treatment. This paper describes situations in the workplace that involve reverse discrimination, with a focus on the legal structure that forbids this from occurring and the ethical issues potentially involved in workplace reverse discrimination scenarios. The Letter of the Law The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination related to compensation, working conditions, or certain privileges for individuals over the age of 40 that work for employers with 20 or more employees (Mathis & Jackson). It is a federal law, thus it applies to all businesses across the United States fitting the profile of 20 or more employees. A situation occurred where those individuals who were considered a protected class against the ADEA filed suit alleging reverse discrimination based on benefits provisions and early retirement benefits options. At General Dynamics Land Systems, the company decided it would be in the best interest of the business to alter the retiree health care benefits scheme. Full health care benefits were to be provided upon signing the new General Dynamics contract, but only if the individual was 50 years of age or older (Zink, 2006). Workers who were not yet of 50 years of age, thus not in a protected class under the ADEA, filed suit against General Dynamics citing reverse discrimination since they were not to be afforded the full health care benefits due to their younger age profiles. The ADEA explicitly states the following: “It shall be unlawful for an employer – (1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, term, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s age” (Zink, 2006, p.2). Ultimately, this case was dismissed by the Circuit Court, citing that reverse discrimination was not allowed under the ADEA. However, the younger workers were allowed to pursue their reverse discrimination suit citing other legal precedents. This particular case was chosen for analysis because many organizations, in fear of receiving liability outcomes, will deny opportunities to younger workers in favor of those in an age-related protected class. Though General Dynamics does not necessarily fit this profile, it was necessary to show how the language of the ADEA and similar legislation can be misinterpreted so that younger workers miss out on many workplace opportunities because of how the language is spelled out. Consider the following case that did meet with victory in the court system alleging reverse discrimination, where the business did deny opportunities to a non-protected class in favor of avoiding liability. The New Haven Fire Department had established a proficiency test to determine which firefighter candidates were most qualified to receive promotions. Detailed steps were undertaken to ensure that the tests were unbiased, “including painstaking analyses to ensure the tests ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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