Protected class group are individuals protected from harassment and discrimination. Discrimination in occupation and employment takes different forms. Under state and federal legislation, unlawful discrimination may take place when an individual or group of people is ‘treated’ in a different way due to particular attributes such as sex, color and race, which leads to impairment of equality of treatment and opportunity. Discrimination in the place of work may occur when selecting and recruiting staff and considering dismissal, retrenchment, promotion, or transfer. The reason to advocate for this group is that human dignity and human development hinge on ‘freedom’ from discrimination at the place of work.
Eliminating discrimination is important as society, individuals, and enterprises stand to gain. It is invaluable if a person is able to choose his/her professional paths, be rewarded based on his/her merit as well as develop his/her skills and talent. Discrimination leads to disadvantages and imbalances in the labor market. Justice and fairness at the place of work boosts motivation, self-esteem, and morale of employees. A more loyal and productive labor force combined with practical human resources management leads to more competitive and productive enterprises.
Promoting equality and enacting laws outlawing discrimination is crucial for social change (Kundu, 2001). However, laws are not the only solution to eliminate discrimination. The first step to advocate for the protected class group is to encourage organizations to develop workplace programs that reduce discrimination and racism. In some cases, discrimination and racism result from lack of knowledge in different population groups. Creating a recruitment strategy that supports diversity in the place of work is an effective approach to improve attitudes about workers who have different cultures.
In addition, diversity awareness training can reduce discrimination and racism. Diversity awareness training is different from training about laws of employment. Diversity awareness programs educate people about factors that lead to improved relationships in the workplace such as appreciation and mutual respect for similarities and differences (Kundu, 2001). Diversity awareness boosts learning and contribution of the employees irrespective of their cultural or physical attributes and creates diverse workplaces.
The stakeholders to take part in this campaign against workplace discrimination are employees and community groups. Employees represent different communities which have different backgrounds. There are a number of groups that are against discrimination and racism such as American Institute for Managing Diversity (AIMD), Center for Equal Opportunity (CEO), and CoAction. Community groups can help to promote community dialogues on discrimination and racism.
People will learn to respect the dissimilarities in all populations leading to social change. While a person needs to be proud of his/her affiliation in a certain culture, this does not imply that he/she can feel superior or disrespect another group. When employees join groups that are working against racism, they will be able to maintain open dialogue regarding their race and others. When people learn about cultures, this will reduce discrimination since they will have to adapt to each other.
Due to few stereotypes, individuals will respect each other. As time goes by, people will be able to tolerate each other and eventually accept one another. To create communities that are influential to accomplish significant change, there is need for different people to work together. When various communities join forces, it will be possible to reach common goals. Each community has unique perspectives and strengths that will benefit the larger society.
Kundu, S. (2001). Managing Cross-Cultural Diversity: A Challenge for Present and Future Organizations. Retrieved 11November, 2012, From http://www.delphibusinessreview.org/v_2n2/dbrv2n2e.pdf
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