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Discuss discrimination at the workplace and give examples Discuss discrimination at the workplace and give examples

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Tushar Chandra eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would disagree with the concept of weight-discrimination. In an interview, if a college dropout is not selected but the university topper is, that cannot be termed as discrimination against the one who is less qualified.

Now, if there are two people applying for the post of an air hostess, or a sales person at an Italian fashion outlet, the one who is slim and attractive is going to be favored over the obese, because she has the required features that are necessary for the job.

Like there are physical requirements for people who apply for posts in the defense forces, there could be in other professions too. And whether people are obese due to hormonal imbalances or because they are not willing to perform any activity involving physical exertion is difficult to guess.

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litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One common type of discrimination is weight-discrimination.  Oftentimes employers will not want to hire someone who is overweight.  The stereotype is that heavy people are slow, lazy or greedy.  Of course there are a number of reasons why a person can be fat, and this is not necessarily true.  Employers also might consider the higher health care costs of hiring an obese person.

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clairewait eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I have to wholeheartedly agree that age-discrimination is pretty common - and I believe this is because it is easy to get away with.  Young associates, young teachers, "The New Guy," if you will, expect to be initiated into the social club of more seasoned workers with a lot of laughter at their expense and often needlessly time-consuming tasks.  It is actually socially acceptable, it seems, to treat younger professionals in this manner, until they "prove" themselves worthy of more respect.

I'm not sure that it is as prevalent in a teaching environment as in more corporate environments, but certainly, despite my comfort level in a classroom, I always feel like I have to work very hard at the beginning of any job to show my supervisors that I know what I'm doing - and I automatically attribute this to my age.  I also feel like I have to be overly conscious of how I dress, because I am young.  It seems teachers get a reputation among students that often trickles upward to other teachers and supervisors - and how we dress is often the catalyst for that reputation.  And it is more difficult for young teachers than older ones.  It seems there are many factors which contribute to being taken seriously - and most of them lie outside the scope of knowledge of subject.

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brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Discrimination comes in any variety of forms, given the diversity of today's workplace in age, gender, race, ethnicity, language, etc.

I think age discrimination is one of the more common forms of discrimination today, and one that is harder to enforce equity laws for.  As the Baby Boom generation ages, two things happen: 1) they start to lose some skills that would make them more employable, and 2) having been around the workplace longer, with typically more education and experience, they are more expensive.  For both of these reasons, there is a temptation among business owners and managers to replace older workers.  While age might be their main motivation for this, they can find other reasons - downsizing, outsourcing, etc. - to lay off the person instead of fire them.  This saves them more money and gets them around the discrimination laws.

Gender discrimination is still quite common, though less so than in decades past.  Women still are, on average, paid less than men, and occupy less of the top business and management positions.

Discrimination by race, of course, is still commonplace, though it varies for different races.  It has become more difficult, socially and legally, to discriminate against African-Americans and Asian-Americans in the workplace, while discrimination against Latinos and other recent immigrants is widespread.

Discrimination against the gay and lesbian population is still quite rampant, socially acceptable and legally difficult to prove.

There are more examples, of course, but I think this covers the bases pretty well.

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missy575 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Discrimination at the workplace can happen in a variety of ways. In the old days, we thought this was by gender or race always. Today, some of that still exists. For example, some might think a woman shouldn't be the boss or superior to a group of men because she's not strong enough.

Today, sometimes discrimination occurs because someone doesn't know the right people or isn't "cool" enough. It's a little bit like high school. Although a job may be posted and a panel of folks participate in hiring 4-5 potential employees, one might have already been picked out prior to the interview process. This one person may not have the abilities or skills that the other 3-4 have, and I would consider that discrimination against the other 3-4 people.

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krishna-agrawala | Student

Discrimination at the workplace means subjecting an employee, on the basis of reasons such as race, religion, gender, or nationality, to behaviour or treatment that puts him or her at disadvantage as compared to other employees, or causes physical or mental discomfort.

Some common example of workplace discrimination consists of giving lower pay to women or persons from certain racial background as compared to pay given to others for similar work. Not giving fair opportunity for learning and advancement are also part of workplace discrimination though these are difficult to establish. Similarly, speaking about the race or religion of an employee derogatorily is a clearly visible act of workplace discrimination. However, speaking rudely or insultingly to a person because of his race or religion is also part of workplace discrimination.

Discrimination at workplace is unethical, besides being illegal in many countries. In addition, workplace discrimination is also likely to impact the employee morale, motivation and the goodwill of a company adversely.