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Effects of Discrimination in the Workplace

Info: 4882 words (20 pages) Dissertation
Published: 5th Oct 2021

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Tagged: EmploymentManagementEquality


The current study aims to investigate workplace discrimination aspects their effects.

In the work place, discrimination is a major problem, employees should be protected against it, and there is wide range of cases of discrimination around the world. The reason for writing this research is to make people aware of the discrimination and to show how it’s illegal to treat workers differently that they should be treated in the same way and fairly.


Research Importance

The importance of this subject is to explore the major effect of the discrimination on the females and elderly employees, in the work force women has 40% of the population in working environment and if those women were uncomfortable and decided to quit their jobs to avoid discomfort and the consequences of the gender discrimination that will affect the productivity in the work place which will lead to effect the economy too , the same case to the elderly employee by letting them go and cut them of early it will lead to job dissatisfaction and to lose their experience which is a huge asset to any company to learn from any previous experience.

Research Question

The purpose of this literature is to explore the aspects of the discrimination in the work place? And in this literature we will explore these aspects and see the effect of each on the workers.

This paper will focus on these cases and take brief information about the types of discrimination in the work place which is many.

Elementary Definition

To proceed in this paper the first step is define the Work place discrimination: which is a behavior the influence decisions on employment matters and interfering with job performance or creating a hostile, intimating work environment.

Discrimination occurs if there was a difference made based on one of the following grounds: race, color, gender, place of origin, religion, material status, physical disability, age.

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood” (universal declaration of Human Rights Article 1, 2).

From this Quote it will lead to understand that everyone has the right to treated equally and fairly. So it is illegal to discriminate against employees in any aspect including: hiring lay off, recall, transfer, promotion, assignment, benefits, pay retirement plane, recruitment, harassment on any base.

Research Problem And Gap

Through reviewing the literature review there was a significant lack concerning the articles, it didn’t contain any cases happened in the Arab countries, there were no case of age and gender discrimination in the same article combining together and all the case was on public sector and finally most of gender discrimination cases focused on the women cases not the men.

Research Structure

As for the organization of the paper the research will start with research question: What are the discrimination aspects in the work place in terms of gender and age?

Exploring discrimination which include the types of discrimination which are: Age,

Gender, This section followed by exploring the problems and the cases of the discrimination in the work environment and the last two sections are the methodology and the conclusion.

Literature review

In order to know the aspects in this paper it’s important to know two things, first what the discrimination mean, Discrimination is

“Unfair treatment because of race, sex (male, female), color (white, black), the person back ground, place of origin, ethnic origin, marital status (single, married), same sex partner status, sexual orientation, age, disability, citizenship, family status or religion. Second the work place, the workplace is any place where employees deal with other employees, volunteers and trustees and other users perform work or work-related duties or functions. Schools and school-related activities” I.S 1 (The Toronto Catholic District HR, (2007), issued in May).

The following literature review provides insights and key findings of available literature relating to work place and the two different types of discrimination, age discrimination, gender or sex discrimination.

According to the EEOC (The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) , the total number of discrimination complaints filed recently have fallen back to26,300 in the year ended September 1996 from 31,700 in 1993, after increasing 13% between 2000and 2004 (Lee 2005: 4). Sexual harassment complaints alone soared to 10,532 filings in 1992, from 6,883 in 2000 (Roberts 2003: 4). Age discrimination law suits resulted in the high percentage during 1988, through2004. Sex discrimination start to get a high percentage of law suits resulted in the highest aggregate jury awards.

Age discrimination

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) equal opportunities were everyone is treated equally. Age discrimination is a factor of equal opportunities where older people are not allowed to work in certain jobs because they are too old. What is age discrimination in employment? Simply stated, it is the act of deliberately discriminating against a person based solely on his or her age. It includes refusing to hire or promote older workers, coursing them to retire, targeting them when layoffs occur, cutting back, or restricting their employee benefits. It also includes limiting their training opportunities, job responsibilities, and duties. This deliberate discrimination may be blatant or subtle, but in either case, it is against the law (Shen and Kleiner 2001: 25).

The effect of the Age discrimination against older workers, it may result that some workers get an early retirement because of their age or to reserve that place to a younger workers so the main reason of The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects people age 40 and over from employment discrimination based on age because worker should be able to keep their job based on their ability, not their age The law says that an employer may not fire, refuse to hire, or treat you differently than other employees because of your age (Mong, Byron and Tester 2007: 317).

According to the Wall St. Journal, in1999, there were age discrimination suit filed by seven former security guards against Coors. Because there were all over the age 40 and Coors laid them off and they replaced them with younger employees. The angry employees filed the suit only after learning that the average age of their replacement was 25. (Kapur and Kleiner; Coors 2000: 4).

For example, in 1991 the central information department director in New York city, Joyce Stratton , the company had to let her go because of her age 61 she filed under age discrimination , she sued the company and won 1$ million dollar as pay pack and damage (Engle man and Kleiner 2005: 4) .

In another case, Chicago Studies professor, sued the University of California for age bias. The well- known historian was 59 when he applied for a high faculty position at

UC Santa Barbara, Which has the UC system’s only fully operating Department of Chicano Studies. He sued the university system the following year, in 1991, claiming he was denied the job because of discrimination against his race, politics (Engle man and Kleiner 2005: 3).

In the study, Fair Employment Council ( FEC) sent two resumes in job-related qualifications but different in the characteristic – in this case, age, to 775 selected large firms and employment agencies. One resume was for a person 57 years of age and the other for a 32 year old Seventy-nine companies they responded that the position was available 32 companies were interested in the both applicant and 34 companies were interested in younger applicant and 13 companies preferred the older applicant . The net difference between the treatments of the two types of applicants was 26.6% (Shen and Kleiner 2001: 25).

One of the reasons that could lead to age discrimination is stereotype it based on un faire treatment and un equal opportunity .A careful review of history shows us the many ways of older have been discriminated against their experience and simply because of their age for example: ageist stereotypes finds the more than 80 percent of Americans were discriminated and more than 60 years old employees have been insulted by jokes ,disrespect , and unfair treatment study revealed that the treatment to the older workers were the least valued by employers (Mong, Byron and Tester 2007: 314). The reason for this discrimination is the stereotype, the older workers are less responsive to the work place changes and they are inflexible and slow (e.g. crew 2004 shah and kleiner 2005 swift 2006). And for older worker they (managers) tend to give them a higher job commitment and lower rate than they do to the younger workers (Mueller, et. al, 2001, 315).

Another study published by Harvard business review made by Rosen and Jerne .They want to evaluate the role of the management in the hiring process so they divided the applicant to two groups the first group evaluated by a young manger and the second by older manager and they asked the mangers to make judgment about the incident in which the worker was older and the younger, the manger decision was very different for older and the younger works for the same incident there decision was for the older workers, they were less motivated ,less creative , and less to capable to handle stressful situation in summary the older was less favored to continue in their career and to get promoted ( Dennis and Thomas 2007:86).

The second reason that may cause age discrimination is Lay off and cutting from their wages. Replacing older workers with younger is technique used by the managers to cost saving and decreasing wages and the payouts and the promotions, training opportunities can be held for younger workers who are viewed as more cheaper in the long term investment than the older (Mong, Byron and Tester 2007: 315).According to the economic policy institute workers over 40 years old they have much less chance to get promoted and trained comparing with the younger workers (sterns and McDaniel 2000:87).

A recent survey done by experience worker serve as an endorsement of the importance of training and they want to motive the older people to enter the work field but more than half of the survey respondents that they believe the age discrimination still exists in the work place and one of the third of the majority thinks that that older people cannot learn a new skills (T+D of american socitey for traning and development issued march 2008 page 17) .Stereotypes have a huge impact on discrimination behaviors, it has been part of serial of social closure and dissatisfaction In another example: in 1994 Tim Jones, 75 years old he was one of the employees in IBM corporation Tim was one of 900 casualties’ and he was under the potential layoffs and the company give him a choice to accept payout offer or the lower paying job (Dennis and Thomas 2007:84) .

There’s a positive and negative perceptions about older workers, the positive is that the older works are valued for their experience and their knowledge and their commitment and loyalty and the ability o are calm in crisis and respect the authority. And the negative is the older people are inflexible, UN willing to adapt with the new technology and having some physical limitation (Britton and TTiomas 2002; Haefiier 2003; Rosen and Jerdee2000:87).

Gender or sex discrimination

It’s unlawful for an employer to treat you differently from others based on your sex, because of your marital status. The discrimination can be ‘direct’ or ‘indirect’, deliberate or accidental. One of the ways of direct discrimination is behaving differently or act funny toward you and that only If someone is deliberately treat you differently at work because of their sex, marital status or gender, it is consider as unlawful act , and the employer should stop the discrimination, (Marker 2005; Chien and Kleiner, 2000, 1)

e.g. ( women and men at the same the job but men gets more money or payment and the same as promoting someone because they are single instead of an equally qualified person, or sacking a woman because she says she is pregnant or might start a family).

Indirect discrimination – putting you at a disadvantage because of certain working practices or rules e.g. (setting a minimum height, which might discriminate against most women or an employer’s refusal to recruit part-time workers without good reason), (Phan and Kleiner 2005:41).

One of the causes of direct discrimination is disparate impact, a careful review of history shows us the many ways women have been discriminated against and often overlooked simply because of their gender. Such examples include: Aristotle’s (384 – 22 B.C.) belief that women were unintelligent.

Based on study made by Adam wine .The statistical evidence shows that there’s a gap is caused by the gender discrimination the statistics show that the gap between the age and the wage ratio is higher than the income ratio for many reasons one of them is women work fewer hours than men and the gap between the singles are smaller than between the married , the gaps increase based on the experience and that’s because women have less experience and women tend to leave their work because the lack of achievement and pay raise. And here’s the statistics Men dominate 310 occupational fields, while the women dominate 50 fields; women earn about $4000 per year less than men even if the men and women are employed in the same occupation. Published by (public personnel management data on September 22 2005, 6).

Based on another study made by Chien and Kleiner showed that 1000 largest companies in U.S among the 4000 people shown as the highest paid officer or director only 19 were women and that because women viewed as less suitable for upper management roles and when women take executive positions the chance of failure is high and predictable, and those expectation of failure effect how women evaluated. (Chien and Kleiner 2000: 3).

Another way for direct discrimination is UN equal pay act, Studies have found that women are unfairly treated and face barriers regarding progress and promotion, even in fields in which they have reached a good accomplishment .For example based on study done by Ash, Carr Large cooperation firms in U.S women get less paid than men for similar work. Such discrimination is not unique to the world of high finance; things seem to be much worse in medicine. In June 2004, the U.S. Census Bureau released an analysis of the earnings of full-time workers that reported that female physician’s wages averaged 63 cents for every dollar earned by their male colleagues. (Annals internal medicine, issued 3rd of august, 2004, 239).

The Census Bureau report was limited in that it did not examine factors, such as specialty, practice setting, seniority, and performance Ash, Carr, and colleagues analyzed data from a national survey of academic physicians and reported that women earned less than their male colleagues, even after accounting for specialty, hours worked, and many other measures of productivity and achievement. In addition, they found that women were less likely than men to reach the highest academic ranks. On other hand men do not face that problem and there is a salary gap between men and women for example women still have a lower compensation than men at the same academic rank.

Another example (china youth daily news paper) they mentioned that many positions reserved for males only and for female they have to accept unfair terms and not being

Able to have a children for many years and the reason that the women are left behind is because their special physical and physiological features. (Beijing 2008: 4).

This case one of the EEOC.v cases about UN equal pay act happened in a bank the bank was paying different salary to male and female workers in three different jobs

First: man teller was paid more than any female teller even though the female was more experienced, second: male operator was paid more than any women who performed the same job, third: the male installment loan officer was hired of salary higher than any female .The bank argued in the first job that he was a management trainee but they found there was no real training program, in the second job the bank claimed that the female was slower in the typing and less accurate than the male but they proof that she was faster and more accurate than the male, in the third job the claimed that the raise

Was given to the women after the EEOC investigation began but the court didn’t believe it. (Bhasker and Kleiner 2002: 75).

This presented case shows that the un equal pay act can lead to a un friendly environment this case is about women was hired by Pizza Hut as a unit manager; she started out in a management Training program with a male trainee who was hired at the same time. Both were paid equally for the duration of the program but when it ended, the male manager received a much higher raise than female. The next round of raises did not even things out; the male manager still made more, despite the fact that the female was running one of the most profitable Pizza Huts. She filed a charge of discrimination with the EEOC. When the EEOC could not re solve the problem, she sued the company (Bhasker and Kleiner 2002: 74).

Harassment is the most common way that could be use as a gender or sex discrimination and the definition of sexual harassment according to the U.S (EEOC): behaving in an offensive manner, or encouraging or allowing other people to do so and that could be either physically or verbally and it will lead to influencing the individual work place environment (for example, making sexual remarks or gestures, allowing displays or Distribution of sexually explicit material, or giving someone a potentially offensive nickname because of their gender). (Grochin and Kleiner 2005 :17).

The most sexual harassment cases in the U.S are against black women based on study done by (information times issued October 2007). they discovered the only 2.8 percent of female university graduate don’t face a gender discrimination in the labor market while 52.8 percent said the gender discrimination is a huge a problem and they face it every day for example many posts at job fairs are not open to female applicant (Beaton et al, platania 2003:291).

This appears to be the case in Australia, konrad and Hartmann (2001) examined survey indicate that women are more likely to believe that they were discriminated in the academic hiring and promotions more that men and that one of the reasons to make the women in such low place by made them to believe .

Sexual harassment is a serious concern for women in the work field during a 2003 survey, respondents reported: Apart from gender discrimination a lot of women have to combat sexual and racial discrimination constantly to survive in college and work places. In order to overcome discrimination, many women scientists report having to work harder and be more successful than men in order to succeed; professor’s report training their female students to think in these terms as well (Etzkowitz and Kemelgor 2004 : 87).

Sexual harassment is a serious concern for women in the sciences. During a 2003 survey, respondents reported46% were sexually harassed; 55% handled this harassment themselves; 40% told their harasser to stop; 7% were forced to quit working; 3% transferred within the company; 2% filed legal action; 18% experienced a combination of all the situations (Boiarsky et. al 2003: 213). Sexual harassment can lead to Hostile environment and that Occurs when an employee is unwelcome sexual conductor materials when the conductor materials are sufficiently strict and firm as to create a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment(Grochin and Kleiner 2005:19).

This case present how the women are suffering from disparate treatment and from the Stereotyping, Women struggle with the stereotype that having a family translates into a lack of commitment to career and job, Motherhood presents a set of expectations; there is a need to balance family and life many women accept part-time work while others prefer flexible scheduling as a condition of full time employment (Beasley, Lomo and Seubert 2001: 76). Often, balancing between work and family results that woman will take breaks from their employment track which leads to less opportunity.

Another stereotype based on case issued in Canada, gender discrimination against male doctors and trainees, men with deep religions of certain communities force their wives to be examined by a female obstetrician-gynecologist and refused to be exposed to men this issue concern to medical resident who may not get their medical experience they because of patient demand (Canadian Medical Association 2008: 179).


Research Statement

What are the discrimination aspects in the work place in terms of gender and age? Meaning to explore each aspect and it’s effect on the employees in Egypt and how to react in different situation

Research Tool

The type of this methodology is quantitative and the reason of choosing quantitative is because it refers to the systematic empirical investigation of quantitative properties and phenomena and their relationships, meaning the problem already exist and in order to contain it the perfect kind is quantitative, the tool to answer the research question is questionnaire. And the shape of the questionnaire was based on the article review and the internet (and it’s attached in the appendix ).

The place will be in Cairo and to evaluate the rate or the level of the discrimination against the women and elderly employees. The reason that we choose Cairo is because there’s a significant increase in the number of discrimination cases in Cairo for example between 2000 and 2008 the number of discrimination cases increased by 27%

Research design

the sample is non probability, convince sample because it will allow choosing the individuals that are easiest to reach or sampling that is done easy. And Convenience sampling does not represent the entire population so it is considered bias, therefore the sample is will be relative weight 80 females and 60 males, from different courses in private university in Cairo, aged 18 to 25 years undergraduate and graduate students, fresh graduate TA’S.

participants volunteered to participate in the questionnaire and did not receive any reward for their participation, the reason selecting under graduate student is because most the student work a part time to finish their internship and to get the experience so their opinions will be supported and they face a lot of challenge in the school and in their work so their opinions will be accredited. Furthermore there were noticeable result that most the people that been asking about the discrimination in their work place they refused and some hesitated to give the frank answer worrying about their boss reaction or their co-workers too , in addition student were more willing to give their frank answers and their opinion without any worries.


first the mailing list which will be available from HR department of the private college , after that will address the questionnaire to fresh graduate TA’s and fourth year student from different faculties, we will wait one week to collect the responds from the mails and if that was not enough there will be a another round of mails and we will wait for the respond and if that was not efficient we will need to distribute the questionnaire in class and wait for the data collection the total time that it took to design the survey is one week and for distribute the survey among the student in (GUC) is one week , to analyze the result it took two weeks to analysis the survey and three weeks to get the result.


SPSS ( statistical package of social since ) program will be used in this study to order to know the appropriate way to analysis the result of the questionnaire and there’s two ways to approach that, the first is descriptive statistics and the second is frequency and percentage.

The student litter :T-test will be used to answer the research question through SPSS descriptive statistic will be conduct including the major of frequency and probability the major of center tendency contain : mean , mode , median, variance, slandered deviation .


The main purpose of the present research was to analysis and to explore the types of the discrimination and to show the effect of each one on the people life

First the Age discrimination, the effect of the Age discrimination against older workers, it could result that some workers get an early retirement because of their age or to reserve that place to a younger workers. And the gender or sex discrimination could affect the employees in many different way especially the harassments because is the most common way that could be use as a gender or sex discrimination and it’s very offensive manner, it could lead to encourage or allow other people to do so and that could be physically or verbally and it influence the individual work place. And to sum up the whole research by seeing the effect of each type and how people react to each type.

Everyone should have the right to treated right and fairly and with respect regardless the age or the gender or the home town we all human and we all seeking for success and we should achieve it in healthy environment and in fair opportunities and because of these discrimination the government should concentrate on the consequences and put a strict punishment for any one not obey these rules.


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