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Discrimination In The Workplace Essay

2223 words - 9 pages

Despite popular belief, discrimination occurs every day worldwide. It occurs for different reasons, but is detrimental to any company or individual. The judgments that occur based on physical appearance, height, weight, gender, and race are affecting the potential professional careers of many. Many companies are limiting their full potential due to the fact that they are discriminating interviewees and employees based upon physical traits. It lessens the chances of developing a strong staff due to the stereotypes and generalizations that discrimination lends itself to. Great candidates are being turned away due to the false pretenses that discrimination brings. Although there are laws ...view middle of the document...

The fact that an individual is overweight does not mean that that person is unable to excel in a professional position. Weight has no relationship with the type of worker a person is. While it is possible that the person is overweight due to circumstances he/she brought upon themselves, it is also possible that the individual has excess weight due to genetic or health reasons. Companies are skeptical when hiring an individual that they may feel is overweight due to health causes because that could then create a liability. The National Institution of Health released a statistic in 2011 that two-thirds of Americans age twenty and older have enough extra pounds to face health risks. This is a statistic that is alarming to companies due to the fact that employees with health issues can cost more money than employees with little to no health risks. On average, a healthier individual misses work less than an individual that is less healthy. A survey of two thousand human resources professionals done by Personnel Today concluded alarming findings about overweight individuals in The United States. The results show that obese people are discriminated against when applying for jobs, as well as passed over for promotions all purely on the basis of their weight. An alarming ninety-three percent of HR professionals said they would choose a normal weight applicant over an obese applicant with the same experience and qualifications. One third of HR professionals felt that obesity was a valid medical reason for not employing an individual. There were fifteen percent of human resource professionals that agreed that they would be less likely to promote an obese employee. Despite employment law, ten percent of HR professionals thought that they could dismiss an employee based upon their size. This survey demonstrates the huge issue with weight discrimination in the workplace. The survey also proves that not all professional workers are aware of the contents of employment law.
Weight is not the only physical trait discriminated upon. Heightism, or the discrimination against one’s height, occurs in a variety of areas. These areas include sports, dating, politics and business. The prejudice occurs mainly in short males. In societies throughout time, short males were deemed to be incompetent and cowardly. “In the early twentieth century, eugenists identified short stature as an inferior trait” (Rosenburg, p.912). Those that were blessed vertically were considered strong, powerful and admirable. This prejudice has been carried out over time. There is an unquestionable bias against short males in hiring, promotions and earnings. Business expert and economist Isaac Rosenburg suggests “an additional four inches in height makes much more difference in terms of success in a business career than any paper qualifications you have” (Rosenburg, p.914). It is evident that a person’s stature can help or hinder their chances of success in the world. That...

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