Discrimination and Equity Policies: A Case of the United States’ Systems

Introduction

            Different companies have multiple organization cultures that facilitate better interaction of the workers and thus create a pleasant working environment. The organization culture outline how the employees are treated in different situations, thus facilitating rules (Black, 2003). However, several companies do not follow their outlined culture, but rather treat each employee according to their level of experience and position they hold. In similar cases, the individuals who contribute less to the improvement of the company are likely to receive improper treatment compared with those the company relies on (Lam, 2019). For instance, in a website design company, a person who programs or come up with different ideas on how the company will survive in the competitive market is likely to be treated well than a cleaner.

Although all the employees are playing a significant role in the company, the cleaner’s position is evaluated with contempt. The issues of discrimination have made some employees receive their salary earlier than others, while some of them go for months without any payments (Rodeck, 2018). Fortunately, the respective governments, trade, and workers unions have been advocating for equal treatment of employees in different settings. The state organs concerned with the wellbeing of workers, both casual and permanent have outlined various policies such as pay equity, human rights codes, and employment equity to deal with the issue of discriminating marginalized indigenous groups, people with disabilities, racialized workers, women, and among other disadvantaged categories.

Equity Policies

A Case Study of the United States Systems 

            The United States is one of the regions accommodating the most diverse communities in the world. Different people move to the United States in search of employment or a good education. The process of securing an opportunity in any company in the U.S is accompanied by challenges such as discrimination due to neo-racism and other factors (Bassen & Cole, 2019).

            In some cases, the applied job might be considered to be handled by men, and thus any female working in the place is not appropriately treated. The act of discrimination involves identifying an individual as an inferior being; therefore, not fit to work in the same area as others. In the United States, there are different cases reported daily of people been discriminated against. In some instances, the Asian-Americans, or Black-Americans are the leading group that suffers from discrimination (Bassen & Cole, 2019). Even though multiple policies protect the wellbeing of the workers, little is done in most workplaces and thus causing issues such as strikes, demonstrations, vandalism, and resigning of workers. The issue of discrimination has led to the United States to come up with Acts such as the Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962 (Anderson, 2004). This act was one of the moves from the government that facilitated training to different people to eliminate the broader gap between individuals with skills and those without the necessary skills. The program was to promote more efficient pay equity based on the qualifications and experience of the workers (Lam, 2019). The government noted that most companies discriminated individuals with fewer skills outside their area of profession. It is facilitating the accumulation of skills among various employees.

Employment Equity

            Employment equity is a term that has been replaced by Affirmative Actions in the United States. The affirmative actions seek to protect the disadvantaged from discrimination in the employment sectors. The policies of affirmative action’s support issues that eradicate inequalities promote diversity, and also strive towards achieving healthy interactions among the employees (Bassen & Cole, 2019). There are different affirmative actions in various regions of the United States. The policies of the employment equity indicate that a person should be employed and treated with fewer regards to race, color, and national origin. The first implementation of these policies was in 1961 when there was harsh discrimination against blacks and Asians. There were various jobs that black people could not get despite their education level. These actions led to mass demonstrations in different states of America, and thus president J. F. Kennedy and his government came up with the policies of affirmative steps (Anderson, 2004). The systems were later adopted by Johnson Lyndon in 1965 when he ordered that every employer should consider carrying out affirmative actions of employing people without considering their religion, race, and origin. Also, the policies later addressed people with disabilities and gender.

            The equal employment opportunity (EEO) are laws enforced by the United States Department of Labor to facilitate an environment where there is no discrimination in the employment process (Bassen & Cole, 2019). The Department of Labor of the United States also enforces employment equity among various sectors. The Civil Rights Centre is also a department that foresees the implementations of the laws that protect the employees.

Strengths of Employment Equity Policies 

            There are different reasons why most companies embrace employment equity in the process of recruitment. The paramount aim is to achieve transparency and thus grow the reputation of the company (Condit et al., 2001). The transparency includes giving out reasons why specific job applicant was rejected while another was accepted. In this process, the diversity of the organization is achieved, thus painting a better picture of the company to the public. A company that respects diversity earns loyalty from society; hence, the customers are likely to increase in number. The increase in the number of customers facilitates the growth of the company (Riccucci, 2002). In some situations, various policies are added to ensure that the disadvantaged group is accommodated in the company. For instance, a company with most roles associated with men might consider that females hold the positions of secretaries and accountants. In this case, a place that does not require much mobility can be reserved for a person with a disability (Thompson, 2019). In such situations, the company will have implemented the employment equity, thus been in line with the requirements by the government of the United States.

            The federal government of the United States has been working towards encouraging various organizations to consider enacting the employment equity voluntary. However, in cases where the company has been involved in discriminatory actions, the court provides a directive of the necessary policies that will ensure no discrimination (Bassen & Cole, 2019). Even though the Federal government has been working towards ensuring that employment equity is a policy in every organization, several companies are still reluctant to implement the same, thus a need for a mandatory system.

            The government of the United States has come up with various regulations to facilitate employment equity. For instance, a company generating more than $50,000 in sales and has about 50 employees been required to have a mandatory Affirmative Action Plan that should be presented to the government (Bassen & Cole, 2019). The plan indicates how the company has integrated diversity, women, and disabled individuals in the employment sector. This has formed the basis of criteria in awarding contracts to various companies. Thus most organizations have considered employment equity an essential aspect of their policies and culture.

            Employment equity has facilitated equality among the disadvantaged groups. In the United States, a company has to implement these policies or else will not be able to access governments’ contracts (Lam, 2019). Therefore, the disadvantaged groups such as marginalized people, racialized, disabled, and among others get an equal opportunity of been employed in various sectors.

            The policy has also facilitated a system where the opportunities are made public and available to everyone. Before the affirmative action’s act of 1961, various people, such as Asian Americans, the Black Americans, among people such as the Europeans, suffered from discrimination in recruitment (Anderson, 2004). There have been established various positions reserved for the women and the disabled in different companies of the United States. In such a scenario, the disadvantage gets equal chances and competes among themselves to get the position rather than competing with other people.

            In a society where the women get equal opportunity as men and the disabled access the same as the none-disabled, there is a likelihood that violence will not occur (Condit et al., 2001). Also, it is noted that after the United States enacted the Employment equity to help in integrating the blacks and the Asian in the job market, crime was reported to decrease, and the interactions between the blacks and the Americans improved (Condit et al., 2001). The issue of marginalizing and lowering the standards of the blacks decreased as they were provided the same opportunities as the white. Besides, the level of living standards was reported to improve among blacks, and this has gradually been observed over the years. 

            The victimization of people living with disabilities have significantly reduced after the employment equity been integrated in various companies (Condit et al., 2001). Initially, the disabled were viewed as people who cannot deliver, and this affected their psychological functions.

Limitations of Employment Equity

            There are many benefits of employment equity, as discussed above. However, the employment equity indicates that the company should maintain the diversity in the number of employees, and this is difficult in a location where there is a high population of a certain race (Lam, 2019). For instance, it would be inappropriate to sack white employees to accommodate blacks. Also, a company cannot fire a male employee to recruit a female one (Riccucci, 2002). Specific skills can be found in a native American candidate but absent in a black or Asian one, although the position would have been filled by a black candidate, the aspect of lacking the necessary skills might make the recruiting team consider the American person. 

Pay Equity

            Pay equity is not similar to equal payments. While equal payments indicate that the employees should be paid equally, starting from the management to the junior staff, the pay equity deals with jobs of similar level and value (Angela, 2011). Equal payments cannot be implemented unless all the employees are engaged with the same type of assignments. In the United States, pay equity has been part of the labor policies implemented by the state department of labor (Angela, 2011). It ensures that people are treated equally as long as they have completed similar tasks (Lancet, 2018). However, statistics indicate that in the same assignment in most parts of the United States, the men will earn higher than women by 36.6% (June, 2003). Therefore, a man who makes $100 in a specific task, a woman will get $80 for the similar responsibility.

Strengths of Pay Equity

            The government of the United States have come up with policies that will assist in proper pay equity implementation (Bassen & Cole, 2019). These policies include adequate evaluation for compensation trends, facilitate transparency when paying the employees, and do away with the negotiation of salaries.

            The compensation trends include keeping track of various trends in payments. The patterns help in adjusting in areas that are yet to be addressed, thus helping in fixing (Rodeck, 2018). The tracking of trends includes identifying the groups of employees and how they have been paid over the last ten years. The period assists in identifying the staffs with a similar number of years of working experience, and also recognize the difference in race, gender, and employees with a disability (Rodeck, 2018). According to Williams (2014), employees with similar years of experience in various departments are paid equally. Also, special consideration of those with special needs is facilitated. The process of benchmarking other companies and find out their operations help in minimizing the chances of mistreating workers (Lam, 2019). The equity pay indicates that the number of years of experience should dictate the amount an employee gets.

            Cases of inequality in payments are reported in companies that do not disclose how they pay the employees. in other words, an employee will be satisfied with what they are getting since they do not know what their colleagues are earning (Rodeck, 2018). In some cases, issues of junior employees earning more than some seniors with adequate experience have been reported. Transparency in compensation of employees facilitates a system where improper payments are not made mainly based on race and gender. In this case, the policy indicates that explanations will accompany a salary increase on one individual on why the rest of the employees are not treated the same (Rodeck, 2018). Others will gauge the performance of the privileged employee in regards to the justifications provided by the management, thus maintaining proper teamwork and healthful working environment. Also, discussing pay rise within the executive members is another way to facilitate transparency in the pay equity. In this way, the managers will require substantial reasons why the employee should get a pay rise (Lam, 2019). In this case, the person responsible for increasing the salary will rely on a group of managers in making decisions related to the payments. Therefore, a concrete reason will be needed in all cases, thus minimizing discrimination and inequality towards specific groups such as racialized individuals, women, disabled, and others.

            In some United States companies, it is the culture to negotiate the amount of salary an employee will get after starting work. In such a situation, some employees are likely to underquote while others will overquote (Rodeck, 2018). After the quoting process, the negotiation begins. Therefore, the agreement between the employee and the recruiting staff will determine the amount to be paid to the team. In this case, there will always be some differences in salaries among the employees. Instead of negotiations, the pay equity policy indicates that the decision on how much an employee should be paid is to be determined by the industry, location, the role they play, and also the trends in the market (Angela, 2011).  In such a situation, only external forces will determine the amount and not the basis of race, gender, and background. Some employees threaten the management for a pay rise or else they will leave the company, and in such situations, the company might not be willing to lose them, thus increase their salaries. 

Limitations of Pay Equity 

            Employees come to the company and go; therefore, it is difficult for the management to identify a collective group with similar years of experience for pay equity (Angela, 2011). In some instances, the skills of a person make them valuable than others; thus, the pay cannot be similar. Also, no employee would like their earnings to be made public; most individuals prefer privacy; therefore, it is hard to implement the policy in most places (Rodeck, 2018). The privacy makes the employee work at the company in a positive way. Therefore, respect is accorded when the employees’ information is not disclosed.

Conclusion

            The issue of discrimination, not only in the workplace but in other aspects of life, is a threat to the social wellbeing of people. Discriminated individuals feel less valued. Thus, their interactions with other members of the society are minimum. In some situations, victimized individuals may form groups to fight for their rights. The formed groups are the starting point of crime in society. Various people have come up with means to deal with inequality and discrimination of people in various social settings such as non-governmental organizations or workers unions to help in handling these issues. Also, different governments such as the United States and Canada have come up with policies such as pay equity and employment equity to facilitate equal distribution of opportunities and prevent discrimination regardless of race, color, or gender.  

References

Anderson, T. H. (2004). The Pursuit of Fairness: A History of Affirmative Action. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780195157642

Angela, M. (2011). “Equal Pay.” In Stange, Mary Zeiss; Oyster, Carol K.; Sloan, Jane, E. (eds.). Encyclopedia of Women in Today’s World. SAGE. Pp. 491-93.  

Bassen, N. and Cole, N. W. (2019) “Employment and Labour Laws of USA.” ICLG.com.

Black, R. (2003). Organization Culture: Creating the Influence Needed for Strategic Success. London, UK, ISBN 1-58112-211-X

Condit, D. M., Condit, C. M., and Achter, P, J. (2001). “Human Equality and Affirmative Action.” Rhetoric and Public Affairs. 4(1): 85-108.  doi:10.1353/rap.2001.0003

June, O. (2003). “The Gender Gap in Wages, Circa 2000.” American Economic Review, Vol. 93, No. 2, pp. 309-314.

Lam, L. (2019). “A Design for Workforce Equity.” Workforce Redesign for Quality Training and Employment: A Framing Paper.

Rodeck, D. (2018). “Creating Pay Equality in the Workplace: A Fair and Productive Decision.” Spark.

Riccucci, N. M. (2002). Managing Diversity in Public Sector Workforces. Essentials of Public Policy and Administration Series. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. ISBN 9780813398389.

The Lancet, (2018). “Closing the Gender Pay Gap: When and How?” The Lancet. 391(10129): 1455. Doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(18)30837-7

Thompson, J. (2019). “Examples of Affirmative Action in the Workplace.” Business and Workplace Regulations.

Williams, R. (2014). “Closer Look at Comparable Worth: A Study of the Basic Questions to    be Addressed in Approaching Pay Equity.” National Foundation for the Study of Equal Employment Policy: Washington, DC, p. 28.

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