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Career Services - Students

 Discrimination Does Not Discriminate!

“This workshop will provide students the opportunity to examine discrimination at various levels.  We will discuss the many groups and individuals that are discriminated against as well as what reactions are typical.  In addition, we will discuss how each of us has been touched by discrimination and how we addressed the feelings of discrimination.”

Oct. 6th-3:30-4:45-*Images from Workplace Fairness website

-click here for pp

The Facts:

  • About 600 million people in the world experience disabilities of various types and degrees.
  • Only 24 states and D.C. include sexual orientation in their hate crime legislation.
  • African Americans are 79% more likely to live where industrial pollution causes numerous health hazards…
  • The large majority of racially motivated hate crimes are against African Americans.
  • Immigrants are an essential element in keeping the American economy strong.
  • 1/3 of American women and 1/4 of women worldwide will experience domestic/dating violence in their lifetime…
  • The overwhelming majority of religiously motivated hate crimes are directed against Jews.
  • Two-thirds of the world’s children who receive less than four years of education are girls.
  • While most drug offenders are white, black men are 11.8 times more likely than white men to be imprisoned on drug charges....
  • According to hate crime statistics published annually by the FBI, anti-Latino hate crimes rose by almost 35% between 2003 and 2006, the latest year for which statistics are available.
    *From DoSomething.com
     
  • ◊ Click here for video.

 

I.   What is Discrimination?
Activity-Discuss what it is and what groups are discriminated against.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-to "discriminate" means to distinguish, single out, or make a distinction. In everyday life, when faced with more than one option, we discriminate in arriving at almost every decision we make. But in the context of civil rights law, unlawful discrimination refers to unfair or unequal treatment of an individual (or group) based on certain characteristics, including:
Age
Disability
Ethnicity
Gender
Marital status
National origin
Race
Religion, and
Sexual orientation.

-There are the not discriminated against and the bad discrimination-What does this mean?   

-If the motive is bad that is where we have the problem-there are laws to protect you

-Example 1: Applicant 1, an owner of two dogs, fills out an application to lease an apartment from Landlord. Upon learning that Applicant 1 is a dog owner, Landlord refuses to lease the apartment to her, because he does not want dogs in his building. Here, Landlord has not committed a civil rights violation by discriminating against Applicant 1 based solely on her status as a pet owner. Landlord is free to reject apartment applicants who own pets. OK

-Example 2: Applicant 2, an African-American man, fills out an application to lease an apartment from Landlord. Upon learning that Applicant 2 is an African-American, Landlord refuses to lease the apartment to him, because he prefers to have Caucasian tenants in his building. Here, Landlord has committed a civil rights violation by discriminating against Applicant 2 based solely on his race. Under federal and state fair housing and anti-discrimination laws, Landlord may not reject apartment applicants because of their race.

Not OK

Activity-What environments can discrimination occur?  Write it down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Environments discrimination may occur:
Education
Employment
Housing
Government benefits and services
Health care services
Land use / zoning
Lending and credit
Public accommodations (Access to buildings and businesses)
Transportation
Voting


II.  "Protected Classes"

Activities-What is this?
-Write down examples of what you think are protected classes
-Write down examples of how you have witnessed someone being discriminated against

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-Meaning-Discrimination by virtue of being a member of a particular group or "Protected Class."  You are discriminated against just because you are a member of a particular group.

Click here for example groups

"Protected Class" Example Groups:

  1. Gay/Lesbian
  2. Minorities
  3. Physically Challenged
  4. Mentally Challenged
  5. Women
  6. Aged population
  7. Single parents
  8. heavy people
  9. not-so-pretty people
  10. short people
  11. tall people
  12. religious groups
  13. youth groups
  14. the poor

 

Is any group of persons explicitly protected by virtue of being a member of a particular class?
-Example 1-I am a member of the disabled class
-Example 2-I am a member of the older class

Examples of Discrimination by Virtue of being a Member of a "Protected Class."
-Example 1-I am refused reasonable accommodations
-Example 2-I am not hired because the employer thinks I will miss too much work

See list above for protected classes

III. What do you do if you feel you are a member of one of the "Protected Classes" and you have been discriminated against at Salisbury University?

Activity-give any examples of discrimination at SU you have witnessed-do not name names

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-If you think you may have witnessed discrimination or been discriminated against, I think you should always refer to what we previously talked about-There are the not discriminated against and the bad discrimination-Which one was it?

-Example-Bad grades in class because you did not do the work-this is justified-bad grades based on a student's life style is a problem
SU Resources

-SU Policies and Procedures
-Disability Services Office
-Office of Diversity
-HR
-Student Affairs

-Code of Conduct - Student Handbook

-Click here for SU policies

IV. What do you do if you feel you are a member of one of the "Protected Classes" and you have been discriminated against out there?

Activity-What would you do specifically if you had a problem at your workplace?  Write and discuss

◊ Click here for a great website and different groups who are discriminated against.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



-What to do if you feel you have been discriminated against:

Before you file a claim for discrimination, you might want to consider that most discrimination is not deliberate. In many cases, the interviewer may simply be ignorant of the law. Even though the interviewer may have ask an illegal question it doesn't necessarily mean that the intent was to discriminate or that a crime has been committed.

If you believe you have been discriminated against by an employer, labor union or employment agency when applying for a job or while on the job because of your race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, or believe that you have been discriminated against because of opposing a prohibited practice or participating in an equal employment opportunity matter, you may file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC-
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

-To file a charge, contact an attorney who handles labor issues or contact your local EEOC office:

http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/howtofil.html

-Resources
-Click here for resources and here and here
-Get a lawyer-click here-bottom of page

V.  What are some possible problem areas in the workplace employers should look for and what are your resources?

Activity-write down questions you think may be illegal or questions you were asked in an interview situation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


-Click here for illegal questions

-Dealing with Discrimination in the Workplace (from the employer's perspective)

√  Here are some general guidelines for managers to follow when confronted by any type of discrimination:
Pay attention to what you don’t always see.
You can’t always see it, prove it, or stop it, but if you ignore even the hint of discriminatory behavior, you and your company could suffer in the long run. Low morale, employee conflicts, and even lawsuits are just a few of the serious problems that could arise.
Don’t play favorites.
If you offer certain benefits to employees, make sure these perks are available to everyone. For instance, if you want to provide a flexible work arrangement for your older workers, avoid appearing discriminatory by being sure to offer this option to everyone.
Keep your personal beliefs personal.
Your personal philosophy regarding race, religion, sexual orientation, and other potentially contentious issues should not affect your duty to monitor workplace discrimination, nor should it cloud your views regarding what’s legal and just.
Be careful of what you say and to whom you say it.
It’s easy for an off-the-cuff remark — said by either you or an employee — to start an avalanche of bad feelings and even a charge of discrimination. Think before you say something that might be misconstrued, and teach your employees to conduct themselves similarly. People should not be afraid to be themselves, but they do need to be careful, sensitive, and knowledgeable about what’s okay to say and what’s better left unsaid.
Respond quickly.
If an employee expresses concern about possible workplace discrimination, do what you can in the shortest period of time to resolve the issue. Allowing it to linger will only add to the employee’s anxiety and allow whatever may be occurring to continue. Establish a clear policy for yourself and others for dealing with the problem. Do some intelligence gathering by having an honest conversation with the person who has lodged the complaint. Who said what? What exactly happened? Who else was involved? Along with the help and guidance of your human resources manager, talk to the person who has been accused. Make sure to take (and safeguard) copious notes of your discussions.
Educate yourself.
Stay informed about workplace discrimination. Talk with your peers in similar and different industries, read your daily newspaper for information about what’s happening locally, and conduct research on discrimination and harassment law. Find out what it means for you as an employer. Consider paying an attorney who specializes in this area a one- or two-hour consulting fee, and ask as many questions as you can. Think of your investment as part of the cost of doing business. In the long run, a short meeting could save you a lot of money.
Formalize the policy and the consequence.
Create and post an antidiscrimination policy (or consider paying an expert to create one). Keep in mind that no antidiscrimination policy will be taken seriously unless you take concrete action against any possible wrongdoing. After you’ve assessed the situation and consulted a lawyer, determine how you’re going to proceed. If you discover that some kind of discrimination has taken place, decide if you will start with a warning, insist on counseling, or formally terminate the accused.

-Click here for illegal/discriminatory interviewing questions

Activities:                                                                                                           

  • Tell about a time you felt you were discriminated against
  • List some jobs/careers that discriminate (advertising, models, athletes, etc.)

**Here's a fast-paced activity to highlight different cultural variables. (activity)

Ask participants to complete this sentence:

I am a(n) _______________ .

After they have done this, ask them to complete the same sentence 10 different ways.

Ask each person to place his or her list (written side down) on a table and pick up some else's.

Debrief by calling out various categories and asking for examples from different lists.

 

 



Here are some suggested categories:


activity level (couch potato)
age (senior citizen)
association membership (Mensa member)
astrological sign (Aries)
belief (pro-life proponent)
birth order (first born)
ethnicity (hispanic)
family type (person from a large family)
gender (woman)
interests (mystery-story reader)
language (Spanish speaker)
marital status (divorced woman)
national origin (African)
national politics (Democrat)
organization (IBM employee)
personal characteristic (impatient person)
personality type (introvert)
physical characteristic (tall person)
political ideology (capitalist)
profession (trainer)
professional approach (behaviorist)
race (Caucasian)
region (Southerner)
religion (Roman Catholic)
socioeconomic status (yuppie)
thinking style (analytical)
tribe (Kpelle)
Stress the main learning point that there are more dimensions of difference than race or national origin

-No One is Immune to Discrimination!  The End

African Americans-back to top
Although discrimination against African Americans was the primary reason for enactment of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, African Americans have faced the stiffest opposition in their attempts to obtain fair and nondiscriminatory treatment in the workplace. Overt discrimination, reliance on false and negative stereotypes, and subconscious bias pervasively limit the ability of African Americans to obtain fair treatment in hiring, evaluations, promotions, and other aspects of employment. Members of other racial and national origin groups, especially those identifiable by facial features or skin color, face persistent discrimination similar to that faced by African Americans.

Women
More progress has been made for women, but most women continue to work in jobs stereotyped as female jobs, and women in nearly all job categories receive less pay than males in those job categories.
Women face limits on promotion to high level management positions because of conscious and subconscious sex bias, and continue to experience sexual harassment on the job despite increased employer awareness of an employer’s obligation to take preventive and corrective action. Pregnant women suffer from discrimination in hiring, promotion, and job performance evaluation because of false assumptions about their ability to work, and women with family care giving responsibilities are disadvantaged by employer insensitivity to the family responsibilities of their employees. Women of color are particularly vulnerable to discrimination in the workplace because they face a combination of racial and gender barriers.

Older Workers
Despite federal and state laws prohibiting employment discrimination based upon age, older workers often are evaluated on the basis of false and negative stereotypes, and suffer disproportionately when employers lay off workers. Older workers who lose their jobs have difficulty obtaining comparable employment, and often must accept new employment at a much lower level of pay and responsibility.

 

Religion, Disabled and Sexual Orientation Groups
Workers still face persistent patterns of employment discrimination based upon religion, disability, and sexual orientation. Federal and state laws prohibit discrimination based upon religion, but religious discrimination persists, and employers have a very limited obligation to accommodate the religious  observance needs of employees. F
ederal and state laws protect persons from discrimination on the basis of disability, but overt bias and false assumptions   about the employment ability of disabled persons result in the denial of jobs to  fully qualified disabled persons, and many employers resist their obligation to provide a reasonable accommodation to the needs of disabled persons, which seriously limits the   ability of disabled persons to obtain acceptance and fair treatment in the workplace. No federal statute prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but some state and local laws recently have provided some level of protection from this type of discrimination. It remains true, however, that most gay and lesbian workers have no legal protection from even the most vicious forms of sexual orientation discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Can you come up with more????

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

◊ Click here for "Prejudice" activity

Forty years ago, the 1964 Civil Rights Act was enacted to eliminate deeply entrenched patterns of employment discrimination against persons because of their race, religion, sex, or national origin. In 1967, Congress prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of age and, in 1990, prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of disability.

Following the lead of the federal government, states enacted laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, national origin, age, and disability, and some state and local governments prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

 

-Click here for illegal/discriminatory interviewing questions

Activities:                                                                                                           

  • Write down the groups who are discriminated against
  • Tell about a time you felt you were discriminated against
  • Have philosophy students debate
  • List some jobs/careers that discriminate (admissions, advertising, models, athletes, etc)

The Employment Interview:

Legal and illegal interview questions for all groups:

Employers should not ask about any of the following, because to not hire a candidate because of any one of them is discriminatory:
Race
Color
Sex
Religion
National origin
Birthplace
Age
Disability
Marital/family status
Your Options

Click here for more and a link to legislation.

What should you say if you feel you have been asked a discriminatory question?
Options:

  1. Answer the question.
  2. Answer the "intent" of the question. For example, if you are asked whether you are a United States citizen (not legal to ask), reply that you are authorized to work in the U.S., which is a question the employer can ask you and which is appropriate to answer.
  3. Try to change the topic of conversation and avoid the question.
  4. Refuse to answer the question which might cost you the job if you are very uncomfortable with the question. However, consider whether you really want to work somewhere where you are asked questions that are not appropriate.

 

The Workplace:

-Click here for illegal questions

The Job Application:

When to say something if you feel you have been discriminated against?

What to do if you feel you have been discriminated against:

Before You File a Claim

Before you file a claim for discrimination, you might want to consider that most discrimination is not deliberate. In many cases, the interviewer may simply be ignorant of the law. Even though the interviewer may have ask an illegal question it doesn't necessarily mean that the intent was to discriminate or that a crime has been committed.

If you believe you have been discriminated against by an employer, labor union or employment agency when applying for a job or while on the job because of your race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, or believe that you have been discriminated against because of opposing a prohibited practice or participating in an equal employment opportunity matter, you may file a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

To file a charge, contact an attorney who handles labor issues or contact your local EEOC office:

http://www.eeoc.gov/facts/howtofil.html
 

Example environments:

  • Hiring for a job
  • interviewing for a job
  • in the workplace
  • job application

LET’S CHALLENGE DISCRIMINATION ! (activity)


Purpose: This activity aims to encourage young people to think of ways of confronting
and challenging discrimination.
Age: 18 and upwards
Time Needed: Approx 1 hour 30 minutes, depending on the number of participants.
How to Do It:
Ask participants to name two or three groups who are discriminated against in society, for
example, gays and lesbians, ethnic minorities, refugees, women, disabled people, or a
religious minority.
Divide participants into small groups of 3 to 4 people. Each group chooses to represent a
different institution in society. The facilitator could make some suggestions: for example
Family, Education, Media, Politicians, Police, Church, Unions, Youth Clubs.
Ask each “institution” to list ways in which they could discriminate against the groups
named, thus violating their rights.
Ask them to identify and note the rights that are being violated with reference to the UDHR. (Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Allow 5 minutes for each group to report back.
Working again in small groups or in pairs, ask participants to take each example of
discrimination and suggest a way of resolving that type of discrimination.
Allow 5 minutes for each group/pair to report back.
Additional Suggestions
We are often unaware of our own prejudices and how we can sometimes make people feel
excluded without realizing. Ask the group to think of and discuss ways where their own
practices/actions might exclude others from full participation.
Invite a member of a group which is discriminated against to speak to the participants about
their own experience, and how things could be changed.

ADVERTISING OUR DIFFERENCES (activity)


Purpose: This activity encourages empathy with others who face discrimination. It also encourages creativity and the development of communication and teamwork skills.
Age: 16 and upwards
Time Needed: 2 hours
How to Do It:
-Ask participants to name some groups who are discriminated against in their society. List these on a board or flipchart so that everyone can see them.
-Discuss and list the ways in which each of these groups faces discrimination.
-Working in pairs, ask participants to name the rights which are being violated in each case with reference to the UDHR.
-Allow 5 or 10 minutes for report back to the whole group.
-Divide into small groups of 3 or 4. Give each group the instructions below asking them to prepare an advertising campaign for a group that frequently experiences discrimination.
They may choose a group from the list they put together (see above) or a different group.  Alternatively, the facilitator could make some suggestions: for example, street children, women, refugees, the elderly, religious groups.
-Each group presents their advertising campaign. Discuss which campaigns would be successful in presenting a positive image of the group. How did they do this?

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