Business Discrimination: What It Is and How to Avoid It

Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of a person or group on the basis of their membership in a particular group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized. In the context of business, discrimination can take many forms, including:

  • Hiring discrimination: This occurs when an employer refuses to hire someone because of their race, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, or other protected characteristic.
  • Wage discrimination: This occurs when an employer pays a person less than another person for doing the same work, or when an employer denies a person a promotion or other benefits because of their protected characteristic.
  • Harassment: This occurs when a person is subjected to unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on their protected characteristic.
  • Retaliation: This occurs when an employee is punished for complaining about discrimination or for participating in an investigation of discrimination.

Business discrimination is illegal in most countries. In the United States, for example, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of age, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of disability.

There are a number of things that businesses can do to avoid discrimination. These include:

  • Creating a workplace policy that prohibits discrimination: This policy should be clear and concise, and it should be // communicated to all employees.
  • Training employees on discrimination: This training should help employees understand what discrimination is, and how to avoid it.
  • Encouraging employees to report discrimination: Employees should feel comfortable reporting discrimination to their manager or to a human resources representative.

Businesses that discriminate can face a number of consequences, including:

  • Legal liability: Businesses that discriminate can be sued by employees who have been discriminated against.
  • Damage to reputation: Businesses that discriminate can damage their reputation with customers, investors, and employees.
  • Loss of productivity: A discriminatory workplace can create a hostile work environment, which can lead to decreased productivity and increased turnover.

By taking steps to avoid discrimination, businesses can create a more inclusive and productive workplace for all employees.

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