Definition of Discrimination

by admin on March 1, 2011

The definition of discrimination is the act of prejudice against a person because they have a certain set of characteristics. Discriminated characteristics ca include disability, age, gender reassignment, religion, race, sex and sexual orientation. Discrimination can take many forms but in many countries around the world there are laws prohibiting any form of discrimination. In the United States, employment laws are very strict regarding discrimination and the laws serve to protect individuals from being discriminated in the workplace. The laws also serve to guide employers on acceptable conduct for its employees with regards to discrimination.What is Discrimination?

As said, discrimination can take many forms. Among those identified are:

Direct discrimination – This is the most clear cut case of discrimination as the individual is treated less fairly due to the characteristics described above. For instance, when a person is denied employment just because he is gay, that is direct discrimination.

Associative Discrimination – This form of discrimination happens when someone is discriminated against just because they are associated with some individuals who have the above characteristics. For example, a family who has a member with aid is shunned by the neighbourhood just because of their association with the aids patient.

Discrimination by Perception – This form of discrimination is the generalization of the discriminated characteristic. For instance, just because a gay person has Aids it doesn’t mean all gays have aids.

Indirect Discrimination – When an employer forces a specific set of requirements on its employees, it may count as an indirect discrimination. An example of this being a company requiring all employees to work overtime. This threatens the livelihood for those who cannot comply with the requirement for certain reasons.

Harrassment – When an employee is being harassed in the workplace because of being gay or being a woman, then it applies as a case of discrimination as well.

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