Employment Law/Discrimination Law

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Employment Law/Discrimination Law

Employment Law/Discrimination Law

Question 1

Racial discrimination is the practice of letting a person's race or skin color unfairly become a factor when deciding who receives a job, promotion, or other employment benefit. It most often affects minority individuals who feel they have been unfairly discriminated against in favor of a Caucasian (or white) individual, but there have been recent cases where whites have claimed that reverse discrimination has occurred—that is, the minority received unfairly favorable treatment at the expense of the white individual.

Court rulings handed down through the years have determined that a company's responsibility not to discriminate based on race begins even before an individual is hired. Companies can be held liable if pre-employment screening or testing is determined to be discriminatory, if applications ask unacceptable questions designed to screen for race, or if the overall selection process is deemed to be unfair. One of the main indicators that racial discrimination has occurred in the hiring process involves the qualifications of the job applicants. While a slight difference in qualifications between a minority and nonminority candidate do not automatically indicate racial bias (if the lesser qualified nonminority candidate is hired over the minority candidate), a drastic difference in qualifications has almost always been upheld by the courts as a sure sign of racial discrimination.

Racial discrimination is a high-profile issue in the business world and is a very real problem that still exists—and in some cases is getting worse. In a 1998 study by the nonprofit group Catalyst called "Women of Color in Corporate Management: A Statistical Picture," it was shown that minority women, while now accounting for almost a quarter of all women in the workplace, occupied only 15 percent of the management positions held by women. The study determined that a combination of racial discrimination and the glass ceiling (a term that describes the difficulty women in general have in reaching management positions) was responsible for the disparity in those numbers.

Proving race discrimination is not straightforward. The onus is on the person making the claim to prove, on the balance of probabilities, that their employer discriminated against them to establish that discrimination has occurred.

This means that the Tribunal does not have to be certain, but it has to think it more likely than not that the treatment was on the grounds of the person's race.

Once the claimant has established facts from which a Tribunal could conclude that there has been discrimination then the burden shifts to the employer to prove otherwise.

Where, for example, an employee complains that their employer failed to promote them on racial grounds, the evidence may point to the possibility of racial discrimination. If the employer has no explanation, or if the Tribunal finds their explanation inadequate or unsatisfactory, it can infer that the discrimination was on racial grounds.

Question 2

Racial harassment is racial discrimination and is unlawful. Racial harassment may include :-

1. Abusive language and racist jokes;2. Racial name calling;3. The display or circulation of racially offensive, written or visual material ...
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