Human resource management plays an important role in an organization through provision of the various services, such as recruitment, promotion and management of employees and providing direction to the staff of the organization for the attainment of the company’s mission and objectives. HRM also deals with the matters related to hiring, compensation, safety, employee motivation, and communication and performance management. It’s the duty of the HRM department to monitor any activity of discrimination, which may be of the different forms. In this essay, the four major forms of discrimination (Gender, Race, Age and Disability) have been discussed in details and illustrated by the case studies.
Gender discrimination is the act of treating all employees not in the equal manner; a situation, where an employee is denied an opportunity or misjudged solely on the basis of his or her sex. Under the law all employees has to be treated equally. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Workers from different organization have been excluded from promotion or hiring not because they are not qualified enough, but simply because of their gender. Gender discrimination involves being denied an opportunity, such as position, promotion or receiving a loan or a credit from the organization an employee is affiliated with. In some companies it can be described in terms of the instances, when an employee receives or fails to receive punishment on the basis of his or her gender. For example, Ladies World is a department store selling a range of home ware and clothing. It advertised for a position of sales manager for the women’s clothing section. The sales manager role involves the stock control, day to day management and compiling the staff rotation. They have received several applications, including the one from Peter Charles, a sales assistant, who had worked in the electrical department for several years. Rachael Gibson, another sales assistant, who had worked at the store for one year was given the job. Peter asked for a feedback from the HR manager, why he was not interviewed, and the manager responded that it had been inappropriate to hire a man for that position (Kloss, 2010).
The term “race” means an individual’s nationality, colour and ethnic origin. Race discrimination is the basis of inequality and asymmetries in privileges, power and treatment. The workplace is a major ground for this type of discrimination. There are different forms of it, which may include employees being unfairly and unfavourably; creation of policies, rules or benefits, which seem to be fair to everyone, but under the keen observation that will not be the case and a particular group of individuals would be marginalised. In an organization gender discrimination can have diverse impacts, such as poor business reputation, low employee morale, poor relations with suppliers and expenses on complaints and litigations; all these factors combined can result in poor income and revenue collection for the company.
Human resource department can solve the issue of the racial discrimination in the organization by creating a diverse workforce through hiring the recruiting individuals from the different ethnic backgrounds into the different departments and promoting employees based on their qualification and skills. The organizational policies should apply to every employee in the same manner and create a common goal or mission, which helps to unite all the employees and promote contact between the workers of all levels (Triana, García, Colella, 2010). An example of the case study on the race discrimination is Sasha, a black employee, who had worked at the Utah Hotel, a highly reputed restaurant in India. During her time the restaurant manager Johnson, who is white, has repeatedly subjected her to aggressive harassment and suggestive sexual harassment, unlike her white counterparts. As an employee, Sasha complained to the HR manager, who told her that the case would be looked at. After the initial report, the manager Johnson became more aggressive to her, which resulted in the resignation of Sasha.
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Age discrimination involves treating individuals (employees) less favourably because of their age. Consequently, age discrimination occurs in the same form as the racial one. Direct age discrimination can occur in instances of treating employees less kindly because of their definite perceived age; indirect age discrimination can occur, when the organization policy, procedure or practice, which affects all employees is particularly disadvantaging to some of them due to their age. For example, a prerequisite for job applicants to have worked in a particular area for a considerate period of time, like ten years, may disadvantage the younger employees, who may have the necessary qualification but lack the initial practice. Human resource managers should make sure that they have guiding principles, which are formulated in order to prevent age discrimination in countering bullying and harassment, selection and promotion, discipline and grievances and determining pay. The mentioned factors need not to be based on the age (Ruggs, Martinez & Hebl, 2011).
Moreover, there are certain cases of disability discrimination. An employee can be called disabled, if he or she may be described in the following way: he or she has mental or physical condition that may limit him/her from performing most of the important life activities, such as hearing, walking, talking and seeing. Disability may also include suffering from long-term illnesses, such as cancer, that cause lessening or absence of mental abilities that is not temporary. The example of such discrimination is a case study of Samuel Cater, who had worked for the AFCO multinational consultancy firm as an IT technician for more than six years. During his seventh year he suffered from a sleep seizure, which forced him to take an unpaid sick leave. For six months Samuel tried several medications and procedures and his doctors persuaded him that the situation is absolutely manageable and Samuel can go back to work. On the arrival to the job, Samuel was informed by the HR manager that he was dismissed on the grounds of incapability (Fevre, Grainger & Brewer, 2011).
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In conclusion, human resource managers should ensure the fairness at selection, recruitment, promotion and training practices. When the HR managers eliminate discrimination in the organization, it helps to motivate, attract and retain employees and enhances the organization’s reputation. Abolishing discrimination helps every employee to have an equal opportunity to work and to develop his or her skills.