Workplace Discrimination - Free Report Sample

Paper Type:  Report
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1606 Words
Date:  2023-11-16


Workplace discrimination occurs when an individual receives less regard because of disability, religion, race, sexuality, or gender. It is unlawful because it involves treating someone unfairly because of their characteristics or are more unprivileged than other employees. The Civil Rights Act protects every United States citizen from discrimination anywhere, including at the workplace (Bagyi & Becker, 2012). It means that employers should ensure that all their workers are treated fairly and equally regardless of their characteristics.

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The Civil Rights Act of 1991 protects employees from discrimination at the workplace and is subject to compensation for damages or relief if the accused party is found guilty. However, if the employer is acting in good faith to protect employees with disabilities regarding the Disabilities Act of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, they may not be penalized for damages (Bagyi & Becker, 2012). The Equal Pay Act of 1963 protects employees from wage discrimination because of their gender. It applies to jobs that both males and females can perform and would require equal effort from them in the same conditions. Therefore, the wage rate of every employee should be the same if the workload is the same. According to the act, no labor organization should not influence an employer to discriminate on their workers (Bagyi & Becker, 2012). If the violation occurs, then an employee should receive outright compensation for all the unpaid wages.

Nike Case

A recent case in the workplace is at Nike, where Cahill et al. filed a class-action lawsuit accusing the company of gender-based discrimination at the workplace (Martinez, 2018). The plaintiff, on February 26, 2019, accuses the company of creating policies that favor their male counterparts at the workplace, consequently discriminating against women. The plaintiff complains that the defendant is not taking action to correct the policies or to make the issue clear. The plaintiff also alleges that women at the company do not get an equal opportunity to get a promotion or receive competent salary like other employees (Martinez, 2018). The case is still ongoing, and the plaintiff is seeking compensation for all women at the Nike headquarters who face discrimination because of the policies of the company. The plaintiff states that the ongoing discrimination inside the company is different from how Nike purports to support women in sports on the outside picture. The lawsuit falls under the Oregon Equality Act, Oregon Equal Pay Act, and the Federal Equal Pay Act (Martinez, 2018).

The Supremacy Clause in the United States constitution gives federal laws more weight than state laws in the case when they are conflicting. It means that federal laws are supreme, and state laws cannot interfere in any way in the implementation of the United States Constitution (Martinez, 2018). The federal government, therefore, has exclusive power to exercise its functions. However, the federal government does not have the power to regulate state laws in legislation, but still hold more power. For example, the Food and Drug Association does not prevent state laws from increasing more regulations on prescription drugs (Martinez, 2018).

EAW Doctrine

The Employment at will Doctrine specifies that an agreement between an employee and an employer is subject to termination by any of the parties as it is indefinite (Ruud & Becker, 2012). The agreement should, however, be specified in the contract between the two parties. However, the Employment as will Doctrine is unlawful in certain conditions, and the exceptions may be different from state to state. If an employer dismisses an employee going against the state policy, then they do not have the power in the situation. Standard state policy is an exemption from Employment at will Doctrine when an employee files for compensation in the event of an injury during working hours. It prevents an employer from terminating their employee's contract until the resolution of the issue (Ruud & Becker, 2012). The Employment at will Doctrine also ensures that the employer follows the right procedure in termination of the employee contract. The Implied Contract Exception may give employees indefinite Employment or a fixed term depending on what a supervisor does like firing employees intentionally (Ruud & Becker, 2012). The Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing prevents an employer from firing an employee by malice.

Some policies and rules protect employees from termination. Employers should have information on their previous work history of their employee and explanation to previous employment contract termination. An employer is responsible for doing reference and background checks, to aid in decision making in the event of contract termination. Employers should define ethics, conduct, performance, and attendance standards that they should follow. The employees can spare themselves the need for termination if they follow all the set regulations; therefore, they should be evident in the first place (Ruud & Becker, 2012). The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 gives employers the choice of going with either release claims or severance pay (Ruud & Becker, 2012). It aims to give employees incentives if the employer terminates their contact.


Federal and state laws protect employees from contract termination on a discrimination basis either because of age, genetics, disability, nationality, religion, pregnancy, sex color, or race (Ruud & Becker, 2012). They also protect them from legal rights retaliation and harassment while they are at work. The majority of the state laws are similar to the federal laws in discrimination, but others add more protections like sexual or domestic violence status, marital status, and ancestry. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 protects employees from harassment in the form of quid pro quo and hostile work environment (Bagyi & Becker, 2012). Quid pro quo harassment refers to sexual advancements by members of a company that influence employment and contract termination decisions like a demotion, promotion, and termination (Ruud & Becker, 2012). The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission gives guidelines on continuous employee training regarding sexual harassment on how they should protect themselves. According to federal laws, employers should provide evidence of the training program in case of class action lawsuits to avoid paying up compensation and damages (Ruud & Becker, 2012).

Brenda firing the worker is a wrongful termination. According to the Employment at-will doctrine, Brenda can fire the employee, but it is an exception of good faith and fair dealing (Ruud & Becker, 2012). The worker addresses their grievances, and Brenda fires them because they criticize the Chief Executive Officer in the company workers' blog.

Jason has the power to exercise their Employment at will doctrine as Alice is going against the company's regulations. According to the Civil Rights Act of 1991, contract termination because of Alice's religion will be unlawful (Bagyi & Becker, 2012). Jason accuses Alice of placing Right-to-Life flyers in the employee break-room. Otherwise, if Jason's prompt to terminate Alice's contract because of her incompetence will be right unless if it is based on her religion. Brian's action of not signing Lori's leave request is justifiable because she goes against the terms in her contract. Peter's boss's decision to dismiss him is justifiable according to the Employment at Will Doctrine. It is an exception as the Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing. Peter's boss wants the best for him as his work is affecting his health condition (Ruud & Becker, 2012).

Federal Law Regarding Undocumented in the United States

An undocumented worker is an employee whose identification details are invalid, and their immigration status is unresolved. According to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, an employer is guilty of a violation if they employ and undocumented worker (Bagyi & Becker, 2012). An employer is responsible for checking all the relevant worker's documents. The worker should be authorized to work in the United States and show their original identification documents. An employee, therefore, has the right not to hire and terminate the contract for an undocumented worker. However, an employer should not discriminate against the worker because of their immigration status. It is because federal discrimination laws protect undocumented workers. An employer, therefore, has no right to retaliate if the worker files a lawsuit against violation of their rights.

The state compensation law of California covers hired employees or those under contact legally or illegally. It does not cover for volunteers, amateur sporting officials, return of aid workers, deputy clerks and sheriffs, and domestic employees. The state compensation law covers medical insurance and wage replacements of employees who get injuries in the line of duty (Bagyi & Becker, 2012). It is like an insurance claim, and it is not a class-action lawsuit against the employer. An employee, therefore, can get benefits to cover for physical injury during their work. The state compensation law discriminates on some categories of workers, therefore conflicting with the federal immigration law. The federal immigration law prohibits discrimination of any worker regardless of their identification status.


I agree with the federal immigration law on the protection of the rights of every individual. The state compensation laws do not cover all employees, which is a form of discrimination. Therefore, there needs to be a change in state compensation laws to be universal so that every worker has an insurance cover over unpredictable injuries. The positive aspect of state compensation laws in California is that it covers all workers, either documented or undocumented.


Bagyi, J. M., & Becker, W. S. (2012). Civil Rights Act of 1991. The Encyclopedia of Human Resource Management, 118-122.

Martinez, J. A. (2018). A note on Nike's wages, labor exploitation, and profits in the garment industry. International Journal of Education and Social Science Research, 1(6), 2-7.

Ruud, J. K., & Becker, W. S. (2012). Employment-at-Will. The Encyclopedia of Human Resource Management, 180-185. h

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