Employment Discrimination and Its Impact on Business


Employment discrimination is a type of human rights violation that happens during employment. The employee might be discriminated against by age, race, religion, physical mobility, sexual orientation, and other factors. The problems that emerge in the employment process require profound attention, as they can lead people to critical issues such as low payment and unemployment. Many people are ready to take action to get the job but get refusals. Discrimination is justifiably related to one of the most destructive social issues worldwide. The reasons for employment discrimination are often irrational and are created to complicate the employee’s chance to get into the workplace. Although the variety of jobs is increasing nowadays, many people still encounter employment discrimination. It is vital to scrutinize the reasons for this phenomenon to understand how employees are discriminated against, what factors influence successful employment, and what the person can do if they face employment discrimination.

Reasons for Employment Mistreatment

Employment discrimination is illegal in most states and countries. The discrimination process is usually based on the personal prejudices of the employer or company. As a result, people cannot find a job for a long time and are not able to provide themselves with vital needs. Employment discrimination happens because of an employee’s race, national origin, sexual orientation, age, gender, religion, and other factors (Sullivan et al., 2021). These features and attributes do not characterize the candidate as inapplicable for the job. Indeed, most people fall in the category of unprotected class, as they do not fit the employer’s standards.

Candidates face mistreatment for various reasons, including appearance features and personal beliefs. For instance, 93 percent of employers would not prefer overweight candidates, although weight is not a reasonable claim to reject the worker (Mrkonjic, 2021). In most cases, race, gender, sexual orientation, and other factors do not influence workers’ productivity. For some reason, companies are afraid to stop thinking by stereotypes and might lose valuable workers because of established prejudices. Employers often evaluate candidates through the perspective of their perception and based on personal biases concerning society. Furthermore, employment discrimination is characterized by giving preference to certain applicants and refusing employees who differ from the company’s personal preferences. For instance, those workers who do not fit the standard imposed by the employer might suffer from harassment, unequal payment, mistreatment, and other types of discrimination in the workplace.

Objective Reasons for Refusal

Most employers design their company policy according to organizational needs and goals. Most often, employers know who they want to see and generate specific contracts with terms for future workers. Some jobs require particular employees and are not available for every candidate. One of the critical requirements is working experience, which the employer can claim and modify while generating the vacant working place. For instance, if the person has no working experience, the chance of an employer’s refusal is enormous. The employer has a right to set precise rules for future employees, and working experience is suggested to demonstrate potential employees’ skills. If the job requires specific skills and accordant background, the chance of refusal in a worker unfamiliar with a particular work type might increase.

Perhaps, other vacancies such as model or ambassador require the employee to have specific appearance and skills. For example, the employer often asks the potential model to send snapshots and seeks precise figure and face parameters. If the employee has specific expectations regarding their future worker, there is a big chance of refusal when the candidate does not fit claimed standards. It is relatively hard to debate if appearance is the reason for unemployment, as the modern world is striving to show the diversity of body, age, and beauty. Indeed, many professions connected with modeling and appearance presentation still offer parameters that the modeling world established long ago.

Another reason for refusal is age; it is a controversial topic because of age discrimination that might happen in companies. Many occupations deny employees under 18 or 21 as underage people cannot work with alcohol and tobacco products in shops, bars, and restaurants. Moreover, employers might seek full-time workers, and teenagers are not allowed to work on equal timetable terms with adults because of their cognitive abilities. Indeed, employees often encounter irrational reasons for job refusal, such as age discrimination or ageism, which is a tremendous problem for many candidates.

Ageism and Adultism

Age discrimination is the tendency to create and promote specific stereotypes concerning people of a certain age. Ageism might be manifested through personal prejudices of the employer or company. For instance, the employer might think that older adults are grumpy and conservative and, therefore, cannot support innovations. In most cases, employers who deny elderly candidates are young or middle-aged. Ageism is a crucial issue, as many people cannot find a job and face refusals often. It is vital to note that established stereotypes concerning the older generation create a negative image of the elderly age in society. It is assumed that elderly workers are far behind the modern world of innovations and are characterized by excessive slowness and inflexible thinking. In 2016, more than 20000 complaints were received about ageism encountered by candidates (Mrkonjic, 2021). Many employers want to cooperate with young and ambitious employees who are familiar with modern technologies, learn quickly, and easily get along with the team. As a result, elderly candidates must get low-paid jobs or agree to work for a black salary.

A significant part of refusals falls to another category of people. Young employees face the problem of ageism respectively. Adultism is defined as generating and translating mistreatment and discrimination against young people. In this case, the situation is opposed to ageism; employers do not want to hire young people because of the possible absence of life experience and excessive infantilism. The young generation often faces such mistreatment in employment, which might provoke a sense of futility and worthlessness. Serious psychological issues may arise after people encounter ageism or adultism. For instance, ageism often leads to various mental problems and phobias. A person starts to feel abandoned, and this feeling might drive them towards substance addiction, depression, or social phobia. Such issues require the instant inclination of qualified specialists, as one phobia might attract the new one.

Women and Employment Discrimination

As a rule, females encounter employment discrimination more often than males. It is considered that discrimination against women in the labor market is connected to their reproductive functions and family responsibilities. Additively, gender is one of the most frequent reasons to discriminate against employees; the statistics show 32,3 percent of the total cases (Heathfield, 2021). Many employers believe females will take supplementary vacations to care for their children. Women often have less time to build their careers and adjust their schedules to manage work and family responsibilities. Indeed, having a child remains one of the most critical issues for female candidates. In addition, females who have visible tattoos are subjected to employment discrimination (Henle et al., 2021). Some members of society still have prejudices about gendered jobs; for instance, diplomats, financiers, and drivers are inclined to male occupations, while nurses and teachers are labeled with female jobs. Even today, many employers are afraid to hire a woman because of stereotypes connected to their instability and inefficiency.

Discrimination in hiring young women occurs worldwide and manifests as a tremendous struggle for most females. Young females under 30 years or those with little children comprise a considerable part of the female population and present the most discriminated group. The employer should pay the insurance and other benefits accommodated for pregnant women and provide maternity leave. Some companies might not be ready to give money to cover female workers’ needs; therefore, they refuse to have young women in their teams. Especially in conditions of economic crisis, employers seek to avoid additional costs.

Acts on Employment Discrimination

One of the most problematic employment discrimination issues is the employer’s impunity. It might be challenging to attract federal structures to the company where the candidate has met the wrong attitude or discrimination, as an employer can adjust and modify the requirements for vacant workplaces. Many employees are afraid to establish and prove the case of discrimination, as they are led by a sense of guilt and fear of future failure. Thus, the candidate enters the endless circle of job failures and might not be aware of methods to defend oneself.

Indeed, the law is responsible for regulating discrimination cases in the workplace. The documentation in human resources is crucial, as it is one of the critical elements for both employer and employee. It should contain performance experiences, incidents, policy violations, failures, and accomplishments. According to this documentation, employment discrimination is illegal; companies cannot refuse workers by gender, race, identity, age, and other factors (Heathfield, 2020). However, it is vital to remember that federal and state laws vary, and employees should rely on rules accepted in their area. For example, the law prohibits hiring overweight people in Michigan, San Francisco, and Columbia (Heathfield, 2020). Thus, if the company policy provides particular preferences or limitations, it is useless to sue the employer.

Nevertheless, certain acts and policies might help employees to overcome or prevent employment discrimination. Unfortunately, some people might not be aware of their human rights and laws accommodated in their state, leading to unpleasant consequences. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits discriminating against workers by race, gender, origin, and religion (Heathfield, 2020). Using this act, people have a bigger chance to defend themselves and help to stop spreading employment discrimination in companies. Moreover, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 rescues candidates aged 40 and older from age prejudices. In 1978, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act was generated to protect women from firing based on biases about childbirth and maternity (Sullivan et al., 2021). Sometimes employers refuse candidates based on their previous experiences or former employer. For instance, after release, employees might face problems, as some companies have strong prejudices about imprisoned candidates. The Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 might help to defend one’s human rights, as it protects from employment discrimination based on personal biases or former experience of an employee (Heathfield, 2020). Therefore, it can be helpful for the employee to know their human rights and prevent employment discrimination cases based on legal acts.

Some cases connected with hiring African American employees provide disturbing statistics on employment discrimination. For instance, more than 60 percent of candidates witnessed discrimination based on prejudices about skin color or race (Mrkonjic, 2021). Many employees of non-white races have to suffer from unequal payment. It comprises a considerable problem since Jim Crow laws, as an enormous percentage of employers are still impacted by racial stereotypes. Indeed, the Equal Pay Act and the federal Fair Labor Standards Act provide equal pay for men and women of all races who work in the same conditions (Sullivan et al., 2021). If the employee faces employment discrimination, they should contact local authorities, which might allow suing employers who act illegally.


Employees face employment discrimination worldwide, which might lead to enormous problems. The most disturbing issue often lies in people’s inability to defend their human rights and use the law to protect themselves. Therefore, it is beneficial to know one’s rights to eliminate employment discrimination cases. Still, people should note laws and regulations in certain areas which might allow or prohibit hiring employees of specific attributes. Indeed, in most states, discrimination is illegal, and local laws might regulate it. Moreover, people should not suffer unemployment or illegal jobs because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, or beliefs. Employment discrimination remains one of the most urgent problems in the labor market and needs to be resolved.


Heathfield, S. M. (2020). Employment discrimination laws. The Balance Careers. Web.

Heathfield, S. M. (2021). The importance of documentation in human resources. The Balance Careers. Web.

Henle, C. A., Shore, T. H., Murphy, K. R., & Marshall, A. D. (2021). Visible tattoos as a source of employment discrimination among female applicants for a supervisory position. Journal of Business and Psychology, 37(1), 107–125.

Mrkonjic, E. (2021). 43 troubling employment discrimination statistics for 2021. The High Court. Web.

Sullivan, C. A., Bornstein, S., & Zimmer, M. J. (2021). Cases and materials on employment discrimination (10th ed.). Aspen Publishing.

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