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Supporting a Diversity ProgramEssay

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Diversity in the Workplace

An African-Americans Experience in Detroit, MI

Case Issues

This case deals with the personal story of an African-American professional man who is a native of Detroit, Michigan. One of the most interesting aspects of this case, in my opinion, is that the individual has had multiple experiences in the same locations in regards to vastly different levels of diversity inclusion which gives him a unique perspective into insights that can occur on different ends of the spectrum relative to cultures that accept and inhibit diversity in organizations. For example, this individual had the opportunity to work for a company that valued diversity and had a diverse workforce with minorities and females in some of the top management positions.

However, the same organization went through a period of organizational change in which there was a restructuring that systematically eliminated the diversity in the organization and replaced virtually all positions with white male members. Although there was a complaint filed with the Civil Service about this development, the challenges to the intolerant practices were dismissed and as result, the challenge with the Civil Service actually had a counterproductive effect on promoting diversity in this organization. Whereas once this African-American employee was fully engaged with his work as a satisfied employee, after the organizational change he has been reduced to a marginalized employee who simply tries to avoid the ignorance that is now present in the culture. This analysis will consider some of the liabilities that the company may have in regards to EEOC compliance, as well as some of the losses that are being incurred by eliminating important perspectives in the organization.

EEOC Compliance

There are many forms of discrimination that throughout society that are present for many different reasons. Race, gender, social status, or similar superficially derived groupings often can dictate the opportunities that one faces rather than their qualifications and abilities. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has a clear stance on diversity which entails equal employment opportunities (EEO) for all applicants without concern for ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, marital status, disabilities, or any other factor for selection that applies to the EEO policy (now including genetic information) and this commission is tasked with enforcing the various laws that have been enacted (EEOC, 2009). Despite the legislative efforts to combat discrimination, polling information clearly demonstrates that most individuals feel that discrimination is still present in society.

Furthermore, each employee has the right to work in a professional environment that prohibits any form of unlawful discrimination or harassment and unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when (U.S. Deparment of State, N.d.):

1) An employment decision affecting that individual is made because the individual submitted to or rejected the unwelcome conduct; or

2) The unwelcome conduct unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or abusive work environment.

Figure 1 -- Perceptions by Political Affiliation - Discrimination Against Poll (Berman, 2015)

There have been many cases in the U.S. in the recent past that have decided in favor of an individual being discriminated against in the workplace. One case of religious discrimination can be illustrated with GoDaddy the website hosting company who was shown to discriminating against a Muslim employee on the basis of his religion. Another recent case against the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of North Carolina, was forced to pay legal settlements for systematically discriminating against potential employees based on their race in their selection process.

Wal-Mart had to pay $72,500 dollars to and individual that could not take the standard drug test for medical reasons because they were found to be legally liable by not catering to people individuals with special needs (EEOC, 2014). A manager at the Walmart store in Cockeysville, Md., offered Laura Jones a job as an evening sales associate, contingent on Jones passing a urinalysis test for illegal drugs, however Laura had end-stage renal disease was not able to take the test and was refused employment. Cases such as these do give someone being discriminating against in the workforce a source of hope.

However, despite many victories against discriminatory practices, there are likely millions of examples of these practices not being tried in courts. It is often the case… [END OF PREVIEW]

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