Positive discrimination occurs when someone is at a advantage because they have a protected characteristic.
A protected characteristic is that which should not affect anyone’s chances of getting a fair treatment. These characteristics include sex, sexual orientation, race, age, religion or belief, and disability. Everyone has a protected characteristic. However, these characteristics should not be considered during processes such as hiring, firing, training, or promoting applicants and employees.
Positive discrimination is referred to as affirmative action in the United States. Here, it involves preferentially recruiting people from underrepresented or minority groups. While positive discrimination is unlawful in some countries, affirmative action is permitted in the United States. Employers should consult an employment attorney Los Angeles for more insight on the topic to avoid legal implications.
The Americans with Disabilities Act excludes affirmative action. However, more than half of people with disabilities who are of working age are unemployed. Persons with disabilities would, therefore, benefit from affirmative action. This can be accomplished by including persons with disabilities in outreach and training programs, and mentoring and training sessions to provide them with a level playing field. Employers should, however, consult with a disability discrimination lawyer for the workplace or an employment attorney for disability discrimination before taking any affirmative action to avoid breaking any laws.
Positive action versus positive discrimination.
Positive action can be applied to create equality in cases where positive discrimination is not preferred. Positive action involves using a set of measures towards promoting the recruitment of people from minority groups that faced discrimination in the past. It also seeks to correct existing structures and attitudes which disadvantage other groups. The law allows employers to take positive action.
Positive action, unlike positive discrimination, does not disadvantage other groups. Take an example of an organization that has very few staff who have a disability. They can hold an open day whereby they invite persons with disabilities and encourage them to join the organization. This is a positive action and does not disadvantage a person who does not have a disability.
However, if the organization gives a job to someone with a disability, but who is not qualified for the position, with the sole intention of filling a quota, then this is positive discrimination. In such a situation, a disability discrimination lawyer for the workplace should be consulted. It should, however, be noted that people without disabilities cannot use the Americans with Disabilities Act when a person with a disability is favored by affirmative action.
How can positive discrimination be tackled?
Diversity takes time to achieve. It cannot be done simply by filling required quotas with people who have protected characteristics. Measures should be put in place to ensure fair treatment for all applicants and employees. But above all, positive action can be applied to promote diversity.
There is a thin line between positive action and positive discrimination. To avoid legal implications, employers should involve a Los Angeles workplace lawyer in this process. A Los Angeles disability discrimination attorney will be helpful to employers seeking to take positive action to invite persons with disabilities to their organization. Additionally, persons with disabilities who feel that they have undergone positive discrimination should see an employment attorney for disability discrimination or a Los Angeles disability discrimination attorney.