Job discrimination is a specific type of discrimination that is based upon race, gender, religious beliefs, nationality, physical capabilities, mental abilities, age, sexual orientation or preferences as well as gender identity through some form of management within a company or organization. Job discrimination can be created through a variety of channels and may be difficult to recognize, even for people within the organization or company. The discrimination can be done on purpose and be associated with differential treatment of an employee or groups of employees. Conversely, the discrimination can be done accidentally or without intent and also create differential treatment (Doyle, 2019). This paper will seek to examine and briefly describe the impact of job discrimination on multiple factors within a company or organization, describe a specific example of job discrimination within a company, and provide recommendations for how to best avoid intentional or unintentional job discrimination.
Job discrimination related to morale, relationships, and overall productivity has been a heavily researched topic among multiple fields of academic study. Research has demonstrated that discrimination is likely associated with decreased productivity of the individual employee or group of employees. For example, an employee who is being discriminated against may begin to feel powerless, experience feelings of increased anxiety, and lose interest in the day-to-day tasks related to the specific job (Lee et al., 2016). Research has also indicated that as discrimination persists, employee morale will decrease, which could lead to increased absences, decreased care for colleagues’ relationships and teamwork as well as decreased motivation (Marafuga et al., 2017).
The U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Regarding a real-world example of job discrimination, in 2013 the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (‘EEOC’) brought a lawsuit against BMW, which alleged that one of the company’s manufacturing locations integrated a criminal background check procedure that resulted in unequal treatment, hiring, and impact on African-Americans (O’Toole, 2013). In 2008, BMW made a change of contractors at one of its South Carolina manufacturing facilities, which resulted in all employees being required to reapply to the new contractor. The new contractor processed criminal background evaluations on all old employees as well as new applicants. Employees and applicants that had a criminal background were not hired or rehired “without any individualized assessment of the nature and gravity of the crimes, the age of their convictions, and despite some having years of experience” (O’Toole, 2013). The outcome of this new criminal background check procedure was that approximately 90 experienced employees were not rehired out of a total of approximately 650 experienced workers. Out of those 90 experienced that were not rehired, 70 were African-American. This example of job discrimination does not reflect the practices of the entire BMW corporation as this was an isolated incident at one of the company’s numerous manufacturing facilities. Therefore, the ethical practices at this specific facility were very poor, but that does not reflect the ethical practices of the entire BMW corporation.
Companies, organizations and organizations must make a concerted effort to prevent job discrimination. There are numerous steps and procedures that must be adopted to effectively avoid discrimination. For example, all employees should be educated about job discrimination, the effects and consequences, employees should be supported to appreciate diversity within the company, the company must acknowledge and respond to any instances of inappropriate conduct, policies and procedures regarding discrimination within the workplace should be developed and communicated to all employees, management must be educated regarding methods of responding to discrimination, and obviously, any instances of discrimination should be dealt with and enforced (Weekes, 2017).
Doyle, A. (2019, April 26). Types of Employment Discrimination. Retrieved June 06, 2019,
Lee, S. H., Lee, H. S., Kim, G. H., Lee, J., Lee, K., & Kim, J. J. (2016). The association between
perceived discrimination and depression/anxiety disorders among Korean workers: Analysis of the third Korean Working Conditions Survey. Annals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine,28(1). doi:10.1186/s40557-016-0121-4
Marafuga,, A., DiDona, T., Paradas, J., Cortes, A., & Perera, M. (2017). Employee perceptions
in the workplace: Discrimination, Work motivation, Teamwork/citizenship, and Locus of Control. International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 7(12). Retrieved June 06, 2019, from http://www.ijsrp.org/research-paper-1217/ijsrp-p7294.pdf
O’Toole, J. (2013, June 11). BMW hit with discrimination lawsuit from EEOC. Retrieved June
Weekes, J. (2017, September 09). 8 ways to prevent discrimination in your workplace. Retrieved