9th December 2017
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May 16th, 2017 Cat: Bisnis Online

Discrimination in employment is a big enough issue that it has provoked further animosity between different groups and even sparked legal action and introduced the concept of an Equal Opportunity Employer. Indeed, it can be extremely hurtful and offensive to be turned away from a job that you can perform just as well as the most qualified applicant solely based on an identifying characteristic that might not even have anything to do with the position. Most would agree that this is an unfair practice that should be put to an end.

As heinous as discrimination in employment is, it can also be quite difficult to prove. Even if employers are prejudiced, they’re unlikely to publicly claim their bias. While prejudice is still widespread in our society, it’s ironically socially unacceptable to openly prefer certain groups over others. Prejudice is more of an internal phenomenon that can go undetected. If an employer doesn’t outright tell you or explicitly show that you weren’t hired because of say, your sex or race, how are you supposed to demonstrate that discrimination has taken place? If you never met the employer face to face, you might never even know.

It might be a little bit easier to build a case for discrimination in the workplace, but again the evidence isn’t always so tangible. People who feel they are the target of workplace discrimination may also struggle internally over whether they are really being discriminated against or if they’re just imagining it. If victims never speak out about it in the first place, nothing can be done. If victims do decide to take action, they can keep track of instances in which there was discrimination in employment so that they can establish a pattern, but even this can turn into a matter of “I said, they said.” Unfortunately, court cases aren’t about what really happened; they’re about what evidence is presented in court. It’s not enough just to describe how you feel or even what’s happening—you have to be able to show it, and instances of discrimination often don’t leave behind explicit indicators that they occurred.

Discrimination in employment usually conjures the idea of racism or sexism, but it’s possible for discrimination to work positively, hiring people because of certain characteristics instead of not hiring because of them. Should this be considered unfair the way that negative discrimination is? It might be hard to prove conventional discrimination in employment, but dealing with the nature of discrimination itself might be even more complicated.

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