Identify a couple of the major discrimination laws.
How are these laws intended to protect employees?
Are these laws necessary and effective, or instead do they restrict the manager�s ability to properly
Discrimination is witnessed when an individual is unfairly treated based on their national
background, gender, ethnicity, race, color, age, religion, sex orientation or disability among
others. There are various types of discrimination laws as discussed below:
Equal employment opportunity
‘Discrimination during hiring/recruitment’ is meant to ensure that employees have equal
opportunity in accessing employment as long as they have qualifications required in a certain job
opening. It protects employees from being discriminated against based on personal
characteristics and thus ensures that they have equal chances of getting employed like other
candidates seeking employment.
Equal treatment at work
Employees are protected against discrimination at the workplace by ensuring that employers
provide non-discriminatory terms and conditions at work. This ensures that employees’
backgrounds does not influence nature of employment, hours of work, salary and other
remuneration packages, training, promotions, transfer, dress standards, discrimination based on
stereotypes (Congressional Digest, 2013, p. 9-10).
Employees are protected from unsatisfactory discrimination, except for various exceptions
allowed, such as genuine financial reasons, serious misbehavior and poor work performance
(Jones and Walker Solicitors, 2012, p.42). This law protects employees from dismissal based on
personal characteristic, reaching a certain age, injury and pregnancy among other issues. It also
protects them from employer breach of contract and dismissal without notice.
How the laws protect employees
Discrimination laws ensure that an individual’s characteristics do not influence how they are
treated at work or opportunities available to them. They protect employees from any form of
discrimination base on national origin, sex, race, color, sexual orientation, gender, age and
disability among other differences (Congressional Digest, 2013, p. 9-10).
Absence of discrimination laws would render various groups of individuals, mostly minorities,
disadvantaged in the job market. Without discrimination laws, certain classes of people such as
the disabled would find it difficult to obtain and keep jobs because they would be outdone by
their able-bodied counterparts.
Discrimination laws are aimed at guaranteeing fair conditions for all employees and ensuring
that employers do not take advantage of individuals who may appear vulnerable. Without such
laws, employers would have the freedom to fire people at will, without proper justification or
based on personal prejudice. It gives employees some level of security and protection against
injustices based on employer bias. It also opens opportunities that would otherwise be
unavailable to certain classes of people.
In terms of mental health, discrimination laws protect employees from psychological effects
resulting from unfair treatment and expectations. The laws provide a fair playing ground for
potential employees to compete, as long as they possess the requirements as provided by the
employer. They also ensure that employees are comfortable at their workplaces without fear of
being discriminated against. This is especially important for minorities who have historically
faced discrimination at the workplace.
Employers and discrimination laws
While discrimination laws mostly favor employees, the employer’s attitude towards these laws as
well as measures taken to ensure that discrimination is avoided determine how they affect the
management functions. They are not only useful but are also necessary in promoting a good
working environment. Sema et al (2013, p. 76), notes that employers should aim at ensuring zero
discrimination in order to prevent law suits (Czubkowski, 2013, p. 1841-1842). Once clear
guidelines are laid out, chances of the discrimination laws affecting management functions are
The work environment however presents various situations, which may leave the management in
a dilemma (Abraham, et al, 2015, p. 337-338). While discrimination laws are aimed at protecting
employees, they may work to the detriment of managers and thereby restrict them from
performing their duties effectively. An example is the law on unfair dismissal, which may lead to
poor performance among employees, given that they are protected by the law against dismissal.
In such a case, the management may have difficulty enhancing productivity at the workplace
because dismissal could result in potential law suits. This is especially so where the management
does not have proper records of an employee’s poor performance. Furthermore, the law requires
that for an employer to terminate an employee, he or she must have been given a warning
regarding their performance and given a chance to improve (Jones and Walker Solicitors, 2012,
Discrimination laws prohibit employers from placing advertisements that seem to favor a certain
group of individuals, or which appear to discourage certain individuals from applying.
Practically however, there are certain jobs that require people of a certain nature to handle and
managers may find it difficult to fill those positions without appearing to discriminate. A
company for example may prefer to hire men for jobs that require major travelling and long
hours, as opposed to women who are known to have significant family roles and attachments that
may make the job difficult for them to pursue. Such practices are however restricted in the
discrimination laws, which makes it difficult for employers to effectively select employees
(Thompson Solicitors, 2012, p. 1-2).
The various discrimination laws ensure employee protection and are of great importance in
promoting equality within the workplace. Employers must therefore be careful to ensure that
they set clear standards to prevent possible law suits. It is also clear that discrimination laws may
interfere with the management’s ability to execution duties; leading to undesired outcomes such
as low productivity.
Abraham, M, Kaliannan, M, Mohan, A, & Thomas, S 2015, ‘A Review of SMEs Recruitment
and Selection Dilemma: Finding A ‘Fit”, Journal Of Developing Areas, 49, 5, pp. 335-342,
Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost,
Sema, E, Melo, I, Rusi, I, & Katro, K 2013, ‘Equal treatment in employment and occupation in
terms of important international legal instruments’, International Journal Of Management Cases,
15, 3, pp. 74-83, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 1 October 2015.
Thompson Solicitors, 2012, ‘A summary of the law on: Unfair