Global business ethics lesson 07

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65 Discrimination LESSON DISCRIMINATION CONTENTS 7.0 Aims and Objectives 7.1 Introduction 7.2 Harassment 7.3 7.2.1 Sexual Harassment in Certain Industries 7.2.2 Preventing Sexual Harassment at the Work Place 7.2.3 Sexual Harassment Policy Discrimination 7.3.1 Discriminatory Practices 7.3.2 Source of Discrimination 7.4 Racism on the Job 7.5 What the Law Says 7.6 Tracking the Problem 7.7 Let us Sum up 7.8 Lesson End Activity 7.9 Keywords 7.10 Questions for Discussion 7.11 Suggested Readings 7.0 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES After studying this lesson, you should be able to understand: z The harassment and discrimination z The methods of avoiding discrimination z The sources of discrimination z The racism on the job 7.1 INTRODUCTION Every member is like a field of force in the market and in the society in which, he/she operates When so many forces interact the resultant force is likely to drag an unwilling member in a direction in which he (or) she does not want to move This happens among the two sexes, the people in different age groups, religious beliefs and value systems Cost, creed and religion also interfere in the peace and harmony of the society Though it is said that ‘Blood is thicker than water’ everyone is same under the skin Therefore the individual freedom honor and liberty should never be tampered with 66 Global Business Ethics 7.2 HARASSMENT Harassment at the work place has become one of the complex problems facing organisations Organisations across the world are witnessing protests and encountering lawsuits from the victims in terms of millions of dollars of compensation The former have been compiled to look into the issue and are also initiating strategic policies to create a harassment free environment, where in both men and women work together for the organisational growth and development Many organisations have relieved the cost of sexual harassment and hence accepted their responsibility to prevent it by establishing programmers to deal with sexual harassment on the job Harassment is defined as an unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or other behaviors that affects the dignity of men and women at work This includes uninvited and unwelcome physical, verbal or nonverbal conduct This may include: Touching, Jokes, Remarks, Use of sexually explicit language, Looks, References to a person's private life attitudes, Sexual Innuendoes with a sexual connotation, Comments on dress, Persistent leering at a person or at part of his/her body 7.2.1 Sexual Harassment in Certain Industries z Cinema industry z Airline industry A study conducted in Australia, more than one-half of the sample of cabin attendants who were interviewed have admitted that they have been harassed In Cinema industry, it is equally bad where the female jobs are more equal to men's job, such harassments are more Reports from Japanese airlines also says that there is a steep increases of abuses and attacks on cabin crews, which have almost tripled in 1996 Many a times the cases of sexual harassment don't come to light If it is publicly made known for the women in India about the harassment, they would be in rough weather from the society Unmarried girls may not get suitable partners Hence such matters will be hushed up by the parents ILO's study on violence at the work place shows that it is a serious issue It has become no more extraordinary phenomenon but a matter of daily incidence The incidence noted in European countries are as under: z Germany 93%; UK-73%; Netherlands-58%: Spain-40%; Norway- 41%; In Japan too, because Of severe recession resulting in down sizing of industries, large number of women complain of sexual harassment as per the Tokyo Manager's union z We have read in news papers about the court cases of Clinton and Lewinski and as well as a case in a leading IT firm at Bangalore 'Infosys Technologies.' Employees tend to be creative and innovative in their jobs Motivated employees want to a good job If work place is smeared by any kid of harassment, they face difficulties in focusing attention to their jobs - Inappropriate behaviour goes unchallenged as we tend to accept them in offensive Many a times, fear of reprisals or ostracism comes in the way of lodging a formal complaint against a fellow worker, even though his/her behaviour is bad/worse Such meek acceptance leads to psychologically wrecking situations, which finally becomes unbearable for the victims 67 Discrimination Figure 7.1: Different Types of Sexual Harassment (Major) Sexual harassment has become a concern to their employers who treats it as a disciplinary offence; earlier regarded as personal dispute between employees in which the employer was in no way involved The problem has grown like a mushroom 7.2.2 Preventing Sexual Harassment at the Work Place z Strong company policies to be formulated z Company's policies are to be enforced z Early/continuous training to employees provided z Communicate sexual harassment policies on a regular basis z Prevention is the best tool to prevent the same from occurring Mention clearly to the employees that sexual harassment will not be tolerated In some countries like Saudi Arabia, stringent punishments are given to the abused z Supreme Court in India has issued guidelines for this Experts feel sexual harassment is imperative to think comprehensively Instead of searching for the single solution good for any problem and situation, the full range of causes, which lead to sexual harassment, should be analyzed and a variety of intervention strategies executed Enhancement of security for workers, providing rehabilitation and psychological counseling etc is required to help victims to cope with the aftermath of such violence at the work place 68 Global Business Ethics Developing a firm policy against Harassment Major Features of Programs Computing the policy to all employees and providing training, where necessary to secure compliance Setting up an procedure for reporting violations; Investigating all complaints thoroughly and fairly are Taking appropriate action against the offenders Figure 7.2: Major Features of Programmes to deal with Sexual Harassment 7.2.3 Sexual Harassment Policy A firm statement is issued at the high level in the organisation that certain conduct will not be tolerated The policy statement should convey: The serious intent of management The kind of actions that constitute sexual harassment The policy should educate and also warn Communicating the Policy to all the Members of the Organisation This is to be done properly Effective communication involves making the policy known to every one gaining understanding and acceptance of the policy Most of the companies include sexual harassment awareness in initial training programmes in their job training/implant training, ongoing education programmes, utilize videos of situations, simulation games to heighten employee sensitivity to the issues Setting up a Procedure for Reporting Violations z Policy should include a well publicized procedure for handling incidents of sexual harassment with assurances of non-retaliation against an accuser For making a complaint, employees should be informed about the procedure to follow like: z Specific person/office to which complaints to be made z Alternatives available to them for making complaints z Those who handle complaints should be aware of the procedure to follow z Further, the policy on the whole should assure all parties about confidentiality z From the accuser z From the accused z The investigation should take place with relevant facts and the rules of due process, in view of the harm that might result from false accusations Though ideal to have a formal complaint procedure, companies can have an informal process through which a situation may be resolved to the satisfaction of an victim, with a well suited for less serious, infrequent incidents among peers Taking appropriate action or any disciplinary action like: z Reprimand z Pay reduction z Job transfer z Loss of a bonus z Demotion z Termination Should aim at a minimum to deter the offender and perhaps to deter others in the organisation The victims of harassment might have suffered some job loss or have been deprived of some opportunities Hence a proper resolution may also include compensating the victims for harm done Eight principles had been recommended for the creation of harassment free work place: z Top management must stress that sexual harassment policy with clearly defined procedures that demonstrate top management’s conviction to eliminate sexual harassment z The organisation managers must understand the policy and adhere to its contents z The organisation must create an atmosphere of open communication and trust in which employees can voice their concerns z The organisation must recognize that there can be “impact without intent”, but that ignorance of the law is no excuse z The sexual harassment policy should recognize that unwelcome behavior is “in the eye of the beholder” z All employees must be educated about what constitutes harassment and have the trust to respond promptly and appropriately z The company must periodically review, adjust, and reinforce each of these steps 7.3 DISCRIMINATION Discrimination describes a large number of wrongful acts in employment, housing, education, medical care and other important areas of public life This takes different forms in the above areas What is common is that a person due to the above is deprived of some benefit, opportunity because of membership in some group toward which there is substantial prejudice Today’s work place, although diverse, is ridden with discrimination of various kinds Discrimination can occur based on gender, age, disability, race, religion, nationality, etc It is a form of unequal treatment but not all unequal treatment is discrimination An employer shows favouratism in deciding promotions 69 Discrimination 70 Global Business Ethics Discrimination Elements Involves decision that directly affect the employment status of individuals / terms and candidates of the employment The unequal treatment results from prejudice or some other morally unjustified attitude against members of the group to which an individual begins; Individuals are not treated on the basis of individual merit but on the basis of membership in a group Figure 7.3: Discrimination Elements Employment policies that not explicitly involve classifying employees by race, sex, religion or other impermissible characteristics can still serve to exclude members of these groups in disproportionate numbers, Discrimination is not solely a matter of intention but also of consequences 'Disparate treatment' is the discrimination of the first kind while the latter is 'disparate impact' The various forms of discrimination are shown below: Treated differently in order to have less compensation Determination against the Handicapped On the basis of Sex Age Discrimination Younger employees preferred by shunting old ones to have more update skills and innovative basis Based on male or female and not on the sex related matter such as sexual orientation or martial status Discrimination Forms Religious discrimination Natural Origin Discrimination Employer could have employment policies that exclude Mexicans but not others like Vietnamese, Indians This is different from discrimination based on sex or race E.g., Employers refuse to hire or promote individuals because they are Jews, Indians etc, in US Figure 7.4: Discrimination Forms Check Your Progress Define the following: Harassment …………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………… Discrimination …………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………… 7.3.1 Discriminatory Practices 71 Discrimination The discriminatory practices now widely recognised are as under: Conditions of Employment Recruitment Practices Discriminatory Practices Promotion Practices Screening Practices Figure 7.5: Discriminatory Practices Recruitment Practices Firms that rely solely on the word-of-mouth referrals of present employees to recruit new workers tend to recruit only from those racial and sexual groups that are represented in their labour force For example: If the firm's labour force is only Hindu community males, this recruitment policy will tend to discriminate other religions and women Screening Practices Job qualifications are discriminatory when they are not relevant to the job to be performed Aptitude or intelligence tests used to screen applicants become discriminatory when they serve to disqualify members from minority cultures who are unfamiliar with the language, concepts and social situations used in the tests but who are in fact fully qualified for the job Promotion Practices Promotion, job progression and transfer practices are discriminatory when employers place majority on job tracks separate from those open to women and minors (Similar to recruitment practices e.g Hindu males as compared to other communities and women) Conditions of Employment Wages and salaries are discriminatory to the extent that equal wages and salaries are not given to people who are doing essentially the same work Fixing an employee on the basis of his/her race or sex is a clear form of discrimination Layoff policies that rely on a seniority system wherein women and minorities have the lowest seniority because of past discrimination 72 Global Business Ethics Figure 7.6: A Policy for Non-discrimination 7.3.2 Source of Discrimination Discrimination during the Recruitment Process No matter whether employers are recruiting through employment agencies, job centres, careers offices or schools, they have a duty not to discriminate on the grounds of sex (including gender reassignment), sexual orientation, race, marital status, disability, membership or non-membership of a trade union, and religion or religious belief They must neither give instructions nor bring pressure to discriminate in any of these ways In relation to pregnancy, any decision not to appoint a woman on the grounds that she is pregnant is likely to be found to be discriminatory against sex Exceptions: There are some jobs for which the sex or race of the successful candidate may be a genuine occupational qualification' and in these circumstances discrimination in advertisements, in the interview procedure, in job offers, in offers of promotion, training or transfers is acceptable Sex A person's gender is a genuine occupational qualification for a job in the following circumstances: Where the essential nature of the job calls for someone of a certain sex for reason of physiology, e.g a female model Where it is necessary to preserve decency or privacy, because the job is likely to involve physical contact with people of the opposite sex in circumstances where those people may reasonably object to the job holder being of the opposite sex, or because the holder of the job is likely to work in the presence of people who are in a state of undress or are using sanitary facilities and therefore might reasonably object to the presence of a person of the opposite sex The application of this genuine occupational qualification depends on all the circumstances; it must be necessary rather than merely preferable to have a member of the opposite sex in question to perform the job Being a woman is not necessarily a genuine occupational qualification for a job as a nanny or domestic help; each case depends on its own facts If, for example, the mother likes to bath with the baby and the nanny is expected to come into the bathroom during bath-times, this is a factor which may be taken into account in assisting a defense of sex discrimination by a male nanny who is unsuccessful against a woman in a job application However, in many cases concerning male nannies, the genuine occupational qualification defense will not apply Where the nature or location of the job means that the jobholder must live in the premises provided by the employer Because it is impractical for them to live anywhere else and the premises are not equipped with separate sleeping accommodation or sanitary facilities for men and women, it is unreasonable to expect the employer to equip the premises with such accommodation or facilities Where the job is in a single-sex establishment or single-sex part of an establishment for people requiring special care, supervision or attention, and the essential character of that establishment or that part makes it reasonable to restrict the job to a person of the same sex as those for whom the establishment or that part of it exists Where the job is for the provision of personal services to people in order to promote their welfare, education or other similar services and those services can most effectively be provided by someone of a certain sex Where the job involves working outside the UK in a country whose laws and customs are such that the duties could not, or could not effectively be performed by a man (or by a woman) Where the job is one of two held by a married couple Race A person's race is a 'genuine occupational qualification' for a job in the following circumstances: Where the job involves dramatic performance and someone of a particular racial group is required for authenticity Where the job involves working as a model for producing works of art, picture or film and a person of a racial group is needed for authenticity Where the job involves working in a restaurant open to the public in a particular setting for which someone of a particular racial group is required for authenticity Where the job involves the provision of personal services to a particular racial group in order to promote their welfare and those services can be best provided by someone from the same racial group As with sex and race discrimination, there are some jobs for which the sexual orientation or religion or belief of the candidate may be a genuine occupational qualification Age There is no express legislation prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of age, but there is a voluntary code of practice which attempts to tackle the problem of age discrimination The Government has announced proposals to introduce laws to stop age discrimination by 2006 Colour blindness what are the rules and the reality about racism in recruitment and the workplace in Ireland? For the first time, Ireland is opening its doors to significant numbers of people from different countries and racial backgrounds In such a situation, the monster of racism inevitably rears up Colour of Money Racism affects decisions about employment before a person even gets a job, in the recruitment process This includes throwing out applications with 'foreign' names and 73 Discrimination 74 Global Business Ethics assuming that nationals of other countries are less likely to have the right to work in Ireland or grasp a sufficient level of English Some employers may be intentionally racist, disliking Africans and refusing to hire them Others may not think of themselves as racist but may never end up hiring, for example, an Asian man, because of a subconscious belief that Asian men are sexist Much of this sort of discrimination goes unnoticed and undocumented Even in the UK, where ethnic monitoring of applications has been standard practice for many years, it is difficult to prove that an employer discriminates on racial grounds in recruitment Think about it How many applicants who fail to get a job ever find out the reason why? How many will ever know who actually got the position and what factors were taken into account? Most companies recruit people not only on the strength of their qualifications but also on the basis that they will work well with colleagues Here the employer may consider race and nationality important to 'fitting in' with the existing team One construction industry personnel manager explains the concerns his bosses had when deciding whether to employ a Nigerian forklift driver: "It was pure racism – there were no actual grounds They were worried about certain individuals in the company, less evolved in their attitudes." The attitude shift is to some extent a two-way street and there needs to be a sensitive look at what immigrants themselves can In this case, the Nigerian was employed, but when he didn’t turn up the next morning he told the manager calling up to check on him that he didn’t want to come in because it was raining so heavily "There is a difference in understanding the need for an early start and time-keeping," the personnel manager explains "My feeling is that this is a cultural thing, much like the Germans see us Irish in our work ethic There is a need for certain cultural induction for asylum seekers, including English-language classes "But the one guaranteed way of us becoming a shit poor country again is to stop immigration All the people bitching about immigrants will have their pensions paid by the sons and daughters of immigrants." 7.4 RACISM ON THE JOB The evidence from countries like the UK and US suggests that being hired is only the first hurdle that the minority employee must jump Promotions may be withheld due to intentional or unintentional racism Working conditions may be anything from lonely to downright unbearable Some minority staff are given the silent treatment and excluded from social activities Others may find themselves the objects of verbal or even physical abuse based on their race Award-winning Nigerian businesswoman Felicia Olima saw the ugliest side of racism when she first set up her IT business in Dublin "I had so many calls to the office telling me to leave," she said in a recent Irish Times interview "They went to my house and sprayed my car with acid…They said they were going to burn the house down." 7.5 WHAT THE LAW SAYS The Employment Equality Act (1998) makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person in terms of access to employment, training, promotion, working conditions or dismissal because of race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins) The act makes certain types of racial harassment the responsibility of employers, who must what they reasonably can to prevent it Discrimination is defined as the treatment of one person in a less favourable way than another person is, has been or would be treated Indirect discrimination on grounds of race is also unlawful Indirect discrimination occurs where an ostensibly neutral requirement placed on all employees has a harsher impact on a particular group An employer who only accepts candidates with Irish Leaving Certificates and not other reputable school-leaving qualifications could be guilty of discrimination on grounds of race or nationality Check Your Progress Define the following: Sexual Harassment Policy …………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………… Law on Discrimination …………………………………………………………………………… …………………………………………………………………………… 7.6 TRACKING THE PROBLEM What is clear from the US and UK experience is that statistical evidence is vital to prove racism in recruitment Employers need expert advice and support on what measures to take to ensure that employees are not the objects of racial abuse Perhaps the aspect of racism that is most difficult to tackle is the subtle prejudice that affect who is chosen for promotion or special training Combating that sort of discrimination is more a matter of education and awareness than of law It is difficult to acknowledge that every individual is created equal, and given equal opportunities, will deliver similar results So, discrimination keeps grabbing headlines on a regular basis mirroring the human failure in treating all mankind on an equal basis 7.7 LET US SUM UP No two objects or people or manufacturer products are totally alike This natural variation in people and products are essential to build up variety and interest and growth in life No one person or product is in anyway superior to another product or person It is by birth God has put us in different roles If this is understood there will be never be discrimination, harassment or racism in society 7.8 LESSON END ACTIVITY Differentiate between harassment and discrimination 7.9 KEYWORDS Sexual Harassment: An unwanted conduct of a sexual nature Discrimination: Wrongful acts in employment, education, and other important areas of public life 75 Discrimination 76 Global Business Ethics 7.10 QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION Nowadays sexual harassment is predominant in certain type industries or jobs like cinema and airline industries Explain Explain discrimination Give the ethical arguments against discrimination Explain the working condition with regard to health and safety and job satisfaction Check Your Progress: Model Answers CYP 1 Harassment is defined as an unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or other behaviors that affects the dignity of men and women at work This includes uninvited and unwelcome physical, verbal or nonverbal conduct Discrimination describes a large number of wrongful acts in employment, housing, education, medical care and other important areas of public life This takes different forms in the above areas CYP A firm statement is issued at the high level in the organisation that certain conduct will not be tolerated The policy statement should convey: a) The serious intent of management b) Describes the kind of actions that constitute sexual harassment c) The policy should educate and also warn The Employment Equality Act (1998) makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person in terms of access to employment, training, promotion, working conditions or dismissal because of race (including colour, nationality and ethnic or national origins) 7.11 SUGGESTED READINGS Manuel G Velasquez, Business Ethics Laura P Hart Man, Business Ethics John R Boat Right, Ethics in Conduct of Business William A Wines, Ethics Law and Business ... SUGGESTED READINGS Manuel G Velasquez, Business Ethics Laura P Hart Man, Business Ethics John R Boat Right, Ethics in Conduct of Business William A Wines, Ethics Law and Business ... required to help victims to cope with the aftermath of such violence at the work place 68 Global Business Ethics Developing a firm policy against Harassment Major Features of Programs Computing... discrimination An employer shows favouratism in deciding promotions 69 Discrimination 70 Global Business Ethics Discrimination Elements Involves decision that directly affect the employment status
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