Aveneu Park, Starling, Australia

I work like race, color, religion, and gender. It

I am going to write a review paper for industrial
and organizational psychology course. In this essay I would like to examine one
of the topics that I am really interested in. This review paper is going to be
about the discrimination in the workplace.

Discrimination in the labor market is a widespread
phenomenon. It can be defined as the unequal opportunities of workers with
equal productivity, or the unequal treatment of employers, society, and the
state. Labor discrimination can be experienced both by individual workers
and their specific groups.

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Discrimination in the field of work
and job means different and less favorable treatment of people due to inherent
characteristics that are not relevant to their merits or requirements for this
work like race, color, religion, and gender. It can not be considered
discrimination of difference in treatment and compensation, if they are based
on differences in labor productivity. Some workers and certain types of
employment are more productive than others. This is explained by the level of
skills, qualifications and abilities: the higher they are, the higher the labor
return and the labor achievements of workers. A different attitude, based on
the degree of personal merit of a person and achievements, such as talent,
knowledge, skills, is not discrimination. Various appeals aimed at meeting the
special needs of individuals, provided with equal opportunities, is not discriminatory.
For example, it can not be considered discrimination to provide a worker with
limited work capacity with appropriate employment opportunities or to prohibit
the employment of pregnant women in work with hazardous conditions.

I have picked a couple of articles, as an example
for my paper, about this topic with the goal that I can criticize and assess

Studies have shown that discrimination and
harassment associated with race in the workplace can come from a variety of
sources, including leaders and supervisors, employees and colleagues, patients
and clients, and into the organization’s policies and practices. Indeed,
discrimination and harassment from different sources are associated with
negative consequences for both the individual employee and the organization as
a whole (Ensher, Grant-Vallone, &
Donaldson, 2001; Shields & Price, 2000).

Racial discrimination involves damage to various
psychological and physical results in terms of health. Discriminatory
experience is associated with increased stress, traumatic stress (e.g., Branscombe, Schmitt, &
Harvey, 1999; Broman, Mavaddat, & Hsu, 2000; Forman, 2003; Kessler et al.,
anxiety, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (Kessler et al., 1999; Klonoff,
Landrine, & Ullman, 1999) , diminished self-esteem ( Jasinskaja-Lahti & Liebkind,
2001; Wong et al., 2003), decreased life satisfaction and
perceived self-competence and psychological resilience (Wong et al., 2003).
Among students and adolescents, racial discrimination is associated with a
decrease in motivation to achieve goals and heightened emotional discomfort,
anger and behavioral problems (Sellers
et al., 2003; Swim et al., 2003; Wong et al., 2003).
With regard to physical health, racial discrimination is associated with an
increase in mortality and an increase in the number of chronic diseases, such
as high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes (Barnes et al., 2008; Guyll,
Matthews, & Bromberger, 2001; Harrell, 2000; Williams, et al., 2003).

Past research also showed that perceived racial
discrimination in the workplace is also associated with negative outcomes for
targeted individuals. These harmful results include a generalized workload,
dissatisfaction of the boss and colleagues, heightened perceived organizational
tolerance for the persecution (Buchanan
& Fitzgerald, 2007; Mays et al., 1996), the intention to stop
work and the removal of work (Pavalko
et al., 2003; Schneider et al., 2000). In addition, racial
discrimination is associated with limited career development and lesser
development of skills in the workplace, less effective labor relations with
colleagues and managers, increased tension in work and a decrease in job
satisfaction, initiative, and organizational commitment (i.e., increased likelihood of
changing jobs; Mays et al., 1996; Sanchez & Brock, 1996).


Racial discrimination and harassment also have
negative consequences for the organization. Ensher (2001) and his colleagues
found that when employees feel that the organization and its policies are
discriminatory, or consider that they have personally been discriminated
against by supervisors or colleagues, their job satisfaction, organizational
commitment and citizenship behavior in the workplace are detrimental. In turn,
this experience and changes in organizational obligations increase the
employee’s intention to leave the organization (Podsakoff, Whiting, Podsakoff, & Blume, 2009; Shields
& Price, 2002). Replacing employees requires that
resources be spent on a lot of explicit costs, as well as hidden costs. These
costs can range from 50 to 200% of the annual salary of a person and are
independent of litigation and efforts to repair or maintain the company’s
reputation if accusations of discrimination are charged. Despite progress in
research and organizational policies regarding discrimination and harassment,
gaps remain. To date, much of the research on racial harassment and
discrimination is related to the experience of Black and White employees.
However, an increasingly diverse workforce requires attention to how
discrimination is directed at other ethnic minority groups. It may also be
necessary to develop a concept of discrimination based on religion as a
potential racial discrimination. For example, discrimination against Muslims in
the United States often reflects racism against those who are perceived as
Arab-American. In fact, within 14 months of the terrorist attacks on the World
Trade Center on September 11, 2001, 705 charges for discrimination in
employment were registered, which were submitted to EPOC by Arab American men
and women, regardless of their religion (EEOC, 2002).

Organizations should also take into account the
nature and impact of subtle and unintentional forms of discrimination. Racial
microaggressions, subtle abuse and exclusion are often reduced, as they are
ambiguous, and criminals can claim that they are unintentional. However, this
experience can have a significant detrimental effect (reduced morale and
productivity, increased turnover of employees), which leads to significant
losses for the organization and puts them at risk of litigation. Studies also
show that, apparently, a neutral organizational policy can have a different
impact on ethnic groups. Organizations should study the results of such
policies for different ethnic groups. For example, if informal mentoring leads
to ethnic minorities receiving little or no mentoring, while white workers
receive strong coaching in the process, white workers will receive additional
benefits from employees of ethnic minorities. If this is the case, it may be
useful to appoint mentors, train them in this role and work with staff from
different racial/ethnic groups, and then establish standards, expectations and
evaluation procedures to ensure that all employees are given equal access to
information and benefits, which can provide a mentor.

Another important organizational problem is the
development of objective and precise criteria for selecting, promoting and
evaluating effectiveness. These areas can spread with an unconscious bias that
leads to different hiring needs, differences in the evaluation of efficiency
and compensation, and biased decisions about progress. Reducing the frequency
and influence of the unconscious bias in each of these areas is important not
only from an ethical or moral point of view but also because of the benefits to
the organization. Thus, understanding the degree to which these processes are
subject to subjective prejudices, such as racial bias, is an important task for
both sociologists and organizational leaders.

Organizations also need to develop policies and
curricula that cover many forms of discrimination and harassment. Individuals
who personify multiple marginal individuals (Buchanan & Ormerod, 2002),
such as ethnic minority women, are likely to experience harassment that
simultaneously targets these multiple identities and can be perceived
differently by targets based on these identities (Settles, Pratt-Hyatt, & Buchanan, 2008).
However, organizational policies and training rarely affect these intersecting
forms of harassment and discrimination. Racial discrimination and harassment
are associated with other forms of ill-treatment in the workplace, such as
sexual harassment and general immunity, and as such many claims that they can
not be treated in isolation (Buchanan
& Fitzgerald, 2007; DeSouza, 2008). In fact,
organizations that abound with one form of discrimination or persecution are
likely to have other forms (Cortina,
Fitzgerald, & Drasgow, 2002). Buchanan and
Fitzgerald (2007) concluded that both sexual and racial harassment
significantly increases the criticism of individuals for the leadership of the
organization and the perception of the organization as tolerant of persecution,
and both increase the likelihood that the goal will seek legal protection. In
this way, organizations can reduce responsibility while at the same time
increasing the morale, productivity, and profits of employees, actively working
to reduce racial discrimination.

The legal prohibitions on racial discrimination in
the workplace, which have led to the reduction of some more explicit forms of
unequal racial treatment. However, also noted that literature reveals that
racial discrimination continues to be a serious problem with significant costs
to individuals, organizations, and society. Given that modern racial
discrimination in the workplace is becoming increasingly thin, the field will
need to develop new approaches to thinking about legislation and/or legal
proceedings on discrimination based on such ambiguous but harmful actions
against racial minorities. Finally, given the unconscious nature that racial
discrimination may sometimes have, more attention will need to be focused on
how to effectively reduce prejudices and change negative stereotypes.

So, after considering the concept,
types, causes of discrimination, as well as legislation affecting this problem,
I came to the conclusion that the problem with discrimination is very acute and
has not actually received any solution. Regulatory legal acts that prohibit
discrimination and affirm the principles of equality are necessary, but
insufficient conditions. Discrimination will not disappear, even if it is
prohibited by law. It is also necessary to have effective enforcement
mechanisms, positive action, an impartial education system, vocational training
and subsequent employment services. This combination of policies and
instruments for its implementation is a necessary prerequisite for organizing the
fight against discrimination in any form. Elimination of discrimination is the
most important prerequisite for people to be able to choose their professional
path, develop their talents and abilities and receive rewards in accordance
with their merits and achievements. Discrimination leads to inequality in the
labor market and unfair advantages. Fair and honest nature of labor relations
contribute to strengthening the employee’s self-esteem, morality and
motivation. A more productive and loyal workforce combined with efficient
resources contributes to the growth of productivity and competitiveness of the
enterprise. Discrimination creates stressful conditions, reduces morality and
motivation for work, affects self-esteem and strengthens even more existing prejudices.



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