by Ken Vincent, Featured Contributor
If asked, most business people would say their ethical standards prohibit discrimination. But is that really true?
Government says it is illegal to discriminate due to age, race, religion, gender, etc. Of course they do make exceptions where the specific job requirements would rule some group out. More importantly there are a lot of ways to justify not hiring or firing without appearing to discriminate.
No matter what the verbal or written standards of ethics are for companies and executives I think discrimination is alive and well. Here are some of the attitudes and practices I’ve seen lately as examples:
Older applicants are likely to be absent more due to health issues. They are not likely to be long term employees. They are too expensive and we can hire younger people for less money. Their formal education is so old that it isn’t relevant to our business today.
Females tend to be too emotional. They may get pregnant. They have too many family responsibilities and those will take precedence over company needs.
Young people demand things like flex time and working from home that we are not prepared to offer. They want it all now and aren’t willing to work their way up through the ranks. They have an “I know it all” attitude and feel they are entitled. They think working over 40 hours a week is borderline slavery.
Minorities just don’t have a good work ethic.
Now please understand, I don’t support these attitudes, I am just saying that they exist. So where do ethics fit into that?
Do you agree that there is a disconnect between ethics and discrimination? Is there still a glass ceiling? Do companies avoid older and or younger generations? Perhaps you think discrimination only exists today in very rare cases?