Sexual discrimination within business environment

Published: 2019-10-18 11:00:00
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Sexual discrimination is a vast constitution of illegal acts that can be carried out towards innocent subjects based on their sex orientation and preferences. In this case, the discrimination occurs when one person or a group of people are treated in a different manner, mostly unfairly, based on their sex. Sexual discrimination is highly illegal in most countries such as those in the United States. Markedly, it is a crucial matter in both the developing and the developed countries and thus treated with much caution and crucial sentences in the court of law. In what follows, sexual discrimination in the business sector will be focused on an in-depth level. The area will then be expounded on based on the legal approach to curb sexual discrimination.

In extent, sexual discrimination in the business sector encompasses all the activities that are related to discrimination during employee recruitment and sacking activities, the assigning of an employees salary, the assignment of jobs in an organization, rank promotions in a business organization or during trainings within the business sector, layoffs or during the distribution of benefits among the members of staff in an organization. Therefore sexual discrimination is closely related to all the mentioned activities if carried out in a biased manner on the basis of an employees sex. It is important to note that sexual discrimination mainly causes uncalled for differences and inequalities between men and women. In this case, it can be referred to as gender discrimination. To sight an example, in most business organizations there exists an occupational segregation in which the top (senior) organizational positions are retained or only given to a disproportionately large number of male personnel than they are to female personnel. Moreover, there exists a significant disparity between the benefits given to the male staff and the female staff. For instance, after having a baby, a female employee may need to have more time to her and family and therefore might not be able to work through to overtime hours like she might have been accustomed to there before. Consequently, she might want to convince her employer that she cannot work past a certain time of the day however the employee may ignore her grievances and argue that she is not fit to be in her current position. In response to this, the employee might get demoted to a lower position where she ends up getting a lower pay. On the other hand, a male employee in her similar position within the company may require not to cut back his overtime hours for other personal purposes and are granted the permission to do so without any demotion or pay reduction. Fortunately, the Equal Pay Act in conjunction with the Title VII act helps to deal with pay related discriminations. It is, however, important to notice that sexual discrimination is not limited to this. It goes as far as acts relating to pregnancy discrimination, marital status based discrimination, breastfeeding based discrimination, and family responsibility based discrimination. Also, sexual harassment in some cases is considered a form of sex discrimination under the federal law.

To expound on adverse impacts of discrimination in the business sector, the following impacts can be considered. Firstly, discrimination leads to reduced morale/ motivation and lack of job satisfaction to the discriminated members of staff. To sight an example, if an employee performs commendably and thus qualifies for a promotion in an organization, it would be only fair to promote him/her to the deserved position if there is an opening. However, if the employee is not promoted but discriminated due to his/her sex, this certainly results to a deteriorated morale of the subject employee and consequently leads to poor performance by the same.

Secondly, discrimination certainly reduces the commitment level of the employees since they view their job as a stagnated source of income in that they hardly get recognized when they do anything commendable. On top of this, they become less loyal to the organization since they will not put all they have into the productivity of the business. Not to forget, the loss of loyalty and commitment can only lead to the employees search for greener pastures in this case they affect the turnover of the business in a negative way. The business organization ends up losing a competent and skilled member whose replacement calls for a cost incurred recruitment and training process for new employees to replace the gone employee.

Thirdly, if the employees of a given organization feel discriminated due to one reason or the other (sex in this case) they will tarnish the organizations reputation within its vicinity and even beyond its vicinity. Consequently, the organization will experience a hard time during the recruitment process of new members of staff. In this case, those in the society who know of the on-going discrimination will be retarded to apply for a job in that particular company no matter the competence or the level of commitment the prospective employee might have. In other words, such potential employees would rather seek employment in another organization which offers a discrimination-free environment. Furthermore, all employees look forward to a happy and favorable working environment.

Finally, as mentioned before, discrimination in the business sector is not legal in most countries. Based on this fact, a discriminated employee, if aware of his/her rights against discrimination according to the law, may seek justice by filing a complaint before the court of justice towards his/her employer. It will follow that the organization will need to incur a significant cost as it tries to close the lawsuit because it tarnishes the organization's reputation and on top of that, in case the organization is found guilty, it will have to pay a big fine or compensation in the court of law to the accusing employee. In this case, the company will certainly incur an uncalled for cost due to a simple act of negligence of the law. On a large scale, this serves as a big liability to the business as it tries to curb an error that would have been easily avoided had the organization considered equality among all its members of staff. For the EEOC records having received approximately $ 14.4M as monetary benefits in 2014 due to cases based on pregnancy discrimination.

It can be observed that discrimination yields an array of negative impacts backtracking from the employees; internal productivity of the workforce and the ability of staff training and recruitment to the society; poor perception of the organization within the general community and finally to the financial wellbeing of the organization; unwanted liability incurred. From this point forward, sexual discrimination will be studied with a focus on a case study of the sex orientation based discrimination with specific concentration on the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in the society. This sector shall be explored based on the legal views of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about the LGBT concerns in the business world.

Sex discrimination cases related to the LGBT sector that is considered unlawful by the EEOC in the business sector can be broken down into the following: A business organization may fail to employ a particular applicant since she or he is a transgender man or woman; on the notion that an individual member of staff is planning to make or has made a gender transition, a business organization may choose to fire that employee; a transgender may be denied access to a given restroom since he/she is believed to have a confused gender identity; a transgender may be mocked by being referred to by the wrong name or gender pronoun regardless of what he/she has made known to the employer and the rest of the employees. Notably, the insofar mentioned cases (in this paragraph) are all related to the transgender related sexual discrimination.

Other cases are related to the gay and lesbian employees in an organization. Based on whether an employee is straight or gay, the employee may be denied a promotion within the organization, of which he has worked hard for and thus is qualified. Additionally, an employee may receive a lower salary since the employee has a different sex orientation. Spousal insurance benefits e.g. health benefits may be given to the employees on a discriminatory perspective whereby a male member of staff with a female spouse is offered the benefits whereas a gay female member of staff in the same organization and under the same conditions of employment is denied the benefits since her spouse is female. On a general basis, the members of staff with a different sexual orientation is treated in a discriminatory approach even according to the types of comments, terms and remarks fuelled towards them so that they feel aloof in their organizational environment. All these cases are unlawful, and an analysis of the laws curbing the discrimination is priceless.

Historically, the EEOC has enforced diverse federal laws in the U.S. which protect the business sectors employees, applicants and former employees from all sorts of discrimination including race, denominations, color, nationality, disability, age and most importantly against all sorts of sexual discrimination. These federal laws further offer a retaliation(from the employer) proof approach to those employees that object to discriminatory proceedings in an organization; to those cooperating with an EEOC investigation; and to those who fire lawsuits towards an employer and/ or his/ her organization. A record of cases based on charges cropping from sex discrimination and race discrimination as per the EEOC filed charges illustrates that cases based on sex discrimination as per the year 2014 were quite many, constituting to 29.3% of the cases filed that year. Total discrimination cases were seen to account for over 50% of the total cases filed by the EEOC in the same year. Notably, those victimized by sexual discrimination based on their LGBT status, have 180-300 days to file their cases in a court of law. They are advised to report the happenings as soon as possible through the mail, via telephone or personally to the nearest EEOC station (office).

Legally, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is the major federal law that vetoes employers from practicing any discriminatory acts against their employees. These discriminatory acts specifically include religion, sex, color, nationality and race-based discriminations. For instance, Title VII declares that discrimination based on childbirth, pregnancy and any medical conditions related to pregnancy and/or childbirth are all forms of sex discrimination crimes. In addition to the Title VII Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) is applied to curb pregnancy and the related sex discriminations. Typically, these federal laws apply to organizations within the fold of federal, local, and state governments. The laws are not only limited to the business organizations but extend to all the public institutions including academic institutions, labor organizations, and any employment agency. Moreover, specific federal laws offer protection to federal contractors employees. To give examples, the Executive Order 11246 and the Executive Order 13665 are the main laws accomplishing this purpose. For instance, Executive Order 13665 protects these employees from discrimin...

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