In a perfect world, all individuals would have an equal opportunity to receive gainful employment (providing that they have the necessary qualifications and skills for a job in question). Unfortunately, even though the United States has passed a number of laws and acts that try to ensure that qualified workers are not denied a job on the basis of discrimination, far too many individuals and companies still engage in discriminatory hiring and employment practices.
Not only is employment discrimination hurtful and unfair, but it is also illegal. In order to break the cycle of discrimination, it is important that the individuals and companies that still engage in discriminatory employment practices are brought to justice for their actions.
Types of Discrimination
Employment discrimination exists anytime an employer treats an individual unfairly (whether they are applying for a job or if they are already employed) because of
· Nation of Origin
· Sexual Orientation
If an employer refuses to hire or continue to employ someone based on one or more of the above factors, they are guilty of employment discrimination and can face serious legal charges.
Intentional vs. Unintentional Discrimination
There are typically two types of discrimination that an employer can engage in: intentional discrimination or unintentional discrimination.
Unintentional discrimination takes place when an employer requires employees or applicants to adhere to a certain standard that unfairly disadvantages a certain group of people. A good example can be seen in companies that require applicants to complete a standardized test. In many cases, the way questions are asked or the topic of the test may give one group of people an unfair advantage over another group of people.
In order for a company to not be held responsible for this, the company must prove that the qualification in question is absolutely necessary and connected to the job.
Intentional discrimination is more insidious, in that it refers to policies or attitudes of employers that are directly discriminatory. To win a case of intentional discrimination, you will need to prove that a company has policies in place that are unnecessary and unfairly affects members of a certain group.
Winning an intentional discrimination case can be made much easier if you have some sort of documentation of discrimination. This can come in the form of an email, memo, or voicemail that has clear evidence of an employer’s prejudice.