Detailed Study on Employment Discrimination 

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This purpose of this research proposal is to replicate and extend research on employment discrimination. Gender bias is the major concern in many work places leading researchers to investigate the factors that influence the workplace decisions. Previous research has revealed, across several contexts, that stigmatized individuals are the recipients of interpersonal discrimination.

It is important for us to identify the conditions that facilitate or impede the prevalence of perceived workplace discrimination, the authors examined the effects of demographics and demographic similarity on the prevalence of sex- and race/ethnicity-based perceived workplace discrimination. According to the national survey of 763 full-time, United States employees show perceived sex-based discrimination at work was more prevalent among female than male employees, and perceived race-based discrimination at work was more prevalent among Black and Hispanic than White employees.

In this study we examine several of these factors, using an organizing framework of sex distribution within jobs (including male- and female-dominated jobs as well as sex-balanced, or integrated, jobs) a) the effects of decision-maker gender, amount and content of information available to the decision maker, type of evaluation, and motivation to make careful decisions on gender bias in organizational decisions, b) characteristics such as type of participant, publication year, and study design. c) the effects of demographics and demographic similarity on the prevalence of sex- and race/ethnicity-based perceived workplace discrimination, d) 3 individual-level compensatory strategies aimed at reducing interpersonal discrimination and examining the effects of plaintiff and observer gender on perceived threat, plaintiff identification, and sex discrimination.

Keywords: gender bias, employment discrimination, discrimination, interpersonal discrimination


The employment discrimination in the form of sex, race and ethnicity is a major issue in employment, right from the past to the current day which is a substantial progress toward gender equality in the United States continues to be made. In the present world, women are more likely than men to complete high school, attain bachelor’s degrees, and earn advanced degrees, and this gap between men and women has been steadily increasing over the past 30 years (Aud et al., 2011). From the year 1992-93, the number of sex discrimination claims filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has gradually increased from 21,796 in 1992 to 23,907 in 1999 (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2000). Numerous claims were dismissed for a lack of evidence after being evaluated by a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigator, whereas others are eventually tried in front of a civil jury.

Educational advancement has not always translated into equality in the workplace for women. Their salaries and organizational ranks continue to lag those of men (Aud et al., 2011), proposing the probability of continued gender discrimination. There is a long history of research on gender bias in workplace decisions. Perceived workplace discrimination can be quite costly for individuals and employers. For individuals, it can increase work tension, depreciate from psychological and physical health, diminish job satisfaction, and lead to stigmatization. For organizations, perceived discrimination can undermine employee commitment and lessen organizational citizenship behavior, morale, and job performance (Goldman, Gutek, Stein, & Lewis, 2006).

Pervasive in the lives of stigmatized individuals but that such discrimination has become more subtle and interpersonal in nature (Frazer & Wiersma, 2001; Hebl, Foster, Mannix, & Dovidio, 2002; Hebl, King, Glick, Singletary, & Kazama, 2007; Heilman, Martell, & Simon, 1988). Such discrimination is linked with destructive effects. For example, early work by Word, Zanna, and Cooper (1974) found that White interviewers exhibited more negative interpersonal displays toward Black than White applicants in an interview setting and that these negative displays were reciprocated and used as the basis for subsequent hiring decisions. Such biases may help explain the inequities that continue to exist within organizations.

Accordingly, researchers have invested a great deal of attention of late toward determining the predecessor of discrimination claiming. More of this work (e.g., Goldman, 2001, 2003; Goldman, Paddock, & Cropanzano, 2004; Groth, Goldman, Gilliland, & Bies, 2002; Lind, Greenberg, Scott, & Welchans, 2000; Wakefield & Uggen, 2004) has scrutinize the process through which individuals arrive at and commit to the decision to file a discrimination claim. Prior to making a claim, however, an individual must recognize discrimination has taken place.

Thus, it is critical to develop a comprehensive understanding of how undoubtedly impartial observers process the information that is presented to them regarding allegations of sex discrimination. Such an observation has led some researchers to conclude that women commit “similar-to-me” errors in judgment to a greater degree than do men (Elkins & Phillips, 1999). Thus, a worthwhile extension to the literature on discrimination claiming would be to investigate the determinants of whether an individual perceives discrimination against his or her person in the workplace (Harris, Lievens, & Van Hoye, 2004).

Statement of the Problem

This study is to extend our research on employment discrimination based on sex, race and ethnicity. Employment discrimination has been a major issue from past to the current day. Discrimination has evolved from time to time in the work place environment, We focus to extract all the conditions and factors that influence discrimination in the work place by using different methods and techniques to find out the factors that influence discrimination and control them.

Purpose of study

The purpose of the study is to identify the factors that influence employment discrimination in the work place. The study will aim to investigate the conditions and the factors that lead to discrimination of employee in the work place environment; the techniques or the methods that can be used to acquire the factors or criteria of discrimination. Several studies have been conducted regarding employment discrimination and how the employees are affected. However, employment discrimination is evolving gradually making difficult for the researchers to conclude the exact factors on discrimination.


This study will aim to prove the following hypothesizes:

  • H1: Organizational place will impact candidate designation. In precise, Black candidates will have lower designations compared to white candidates in the “climate for racial bias” condition. The weight of designation differences between Black and White candidates will be smaller in the “climate for equality” condition.
  • H2: Discrimination in the workplace will be less frequent among White men than amongst members of lower groups (Women, Blacks and Hispanics).
  • H3: Sex similarity to one’s coworkers and supervisor will have a greater effect on the generality of identified workplace discrimination among women than men.
  • H4: Gender partiality will be found, when men are rated more favorable than women for male dominated jobs and women are rated more favorable than men for female dominated jobs.
  • H5: When more job relevant information is available, Gender partiality will decrease.
  • H6: Gay and lesbian candidates will face more interpersonal discrimination than males and females.

Definitions of Terms

The following keywords are used throughout this research study:

  1. Gender bias- Unfair difference in the treatment of men or women because of their sex.
  2. Employment discrimination- Employment discrimination is a form of discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation and gender identity by employer.
  3. Discrimination- Discrimination is treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction towards, a person based on the group, class, or category to which the person is perceived to belong.
  4. Interpersonal discrimination- Interpersonal discrimination refers to directly perceived discriminatory interactions between individuals, whether in their institutional roles (for example between employer and employee) or as public or private individuals (for example between shopkeeper and shopper).

Theoretical Framework

This study is an attempt to replicate and extend research on employment discrimination by A. P. Brief and colleagues (A. P. Brief, J. Dietz, R. R. Cohen, S. D. Pugh, & J. B. Vaslow, 2000). We use different methods to identify and process different kinds of discrimination that occurs in a work place based on criteria of discrimination. Moreover, minorities and women generally identify more strongly with their racial/ethnic and sex groups than do Whites and men, respectively (Phinney, 1992; Wilson & Liu, 2003).

Hence, we examine whether being different from (a) White men or (b) those in one’s work setting (who may or may not be White men) affects the prevalence of perceived discrimination. In our study, we adopted the disparate treatment definition of employment discrimination; disparate treatment occurs when different standards are applied to different groups (Gatewood & Field, 2000). We attempt to reproduce this effect for organizational climate using somewhat more sensitive measure of discrimination through comparisons of the dissimilar rating of Black and White applicants across the two climate conditions.

Literature Review

Many studies have been done relating to employment discrimination and how it influences the employees. Numerous aspects contribute to understand why these discriminations take place in the work environment. To thoroughly understand this concept, this paper reviews different studies that include how discrimination takes place, what leads to discrimination, why discrimination takes place and how to control discrimination in the workplace environment. Each of these studies corelate with one another, and the effects employment discrimination has on the employees and the employers.

In the United States, minorities and women are considered lower status groups than Whites and men, respectively (Simpson & Walker, 2002). In the context of sex discrimination, women have historically been the minority group. Most of sex discrimination that occurs in U.S. corporations has targeted women. Accordingly, they often tend to be stigmatized as less capable than White men (Lyness & Heilman, 2006; Oyserman & Swim, 2001), which makes the burden of proving oneself competent and deserving more challenging for members of these subordinate categories than for the dominant group (Foschi, 2000; Heilman, 2001).

Minorities and women generally have significantly higher expectations of experiencing discrimination than do White men (Levin, Sinclair, Veniegas, & Taylor, 2002), and individuals with greater expectations of discrimination are more likely to perceive it when circumstances are ambiguous (Johnson, Lecci, & Swim, 2006). According to social identity theory, lower status groups may be more likely than higher status groups to exhibit biased attitudes and judgments derived from such preconditions.

In situations in which group membership is ascribed, status differences are unstable, and the differences are perceived as illegitimate and unfair, groups may fight for social change and oppose the threatening group (Ellemers, Wilke, & Van Knippenberg, 1993; Tajfel & Turner, 1986). Because women have historically been viewed as the lower status victims of sex discrimination, women should, therefore, exhibit a greater liability than men to support evaluative judgments of in-group and out-group members on gender. Although prior evidence (e.g., Goldman et al., 2006) indicates women and minorities are more prone to file discrimination claims, lawsuits are but one of the key prospective outcomes of perceived discrimination. Thus, it is important to determine if women and minorities are more likely than men and majority group members to perceive discriminatory treatment.

Many authors worked on finding the behavior display made by employer on discrimination, Hebl et al. (2002) attempted to capture such differences in behavioral displays by distinguishing between “formal discrimination” (i.e., often illegal, overt biases) and “interpersonal discrimination” (i.e., subtle, interpersonal biases). Hebl et al. (2002) proposed that interpersonal discrimination, which may or may not be volitional, typically involves behaviors that are not illegal (e.g., lack of smiling, lack of eye contact) or are not required by a job (e.g., completely disregarding one customer while helping another) and may consist of verbal, nonverbal, and paraverbal behaviors (e.g., decreases in friendliness, shortened interactions, increased hostility) within an interaction.

For instance, Black individuals who believe they will be interacting with a prejudiced individual engage in different behaviors from what those interacting with a nonprejudiced individual engage in (Shelton, Richeson, & Salvatore, 2005). In addition, when female students believe that a sexist man will be grading a written essay, they write essays that distance themselves from traditional gender stereotypes (Kaiser & Miller, 2001). Similarly, unattractive boys and girls utilize different strategies in order to persuade their peers (Dion & Stein, 1978). The current research begins to express some of these policy as well as to examine how they might operate in a workplace situation. We examine three strategies that stigmatized individuals might adopt acknowledgment, individuating information, and increased positivity—to reduce interpersonal discrimination.

Essentially, individuals classify themselves and others into categories based on observable characteristics such as race and sex (Tajfel & Turner, 1986; Turner, 1987). These classifications form the basis for difference between similar (i.e., in-group members) and dissimilar others (i.e., out-group members). Brief et al. (2000) found that the average rating of Black applicants was lower in the climate for racial bias condition (when the president was perceived as a legitimate authority and indicated his White racial preference). Significantly they found that based on the scores racists gave Black applicants lower ratings in the climate for racial bias condition. In addition, Kraiger and Ford (1985) found that both Black and White raters gave higher ratings to members of their own race. These results provide evidence that individuals apply differential grades when evaluating applicants.

Gender bias at work can arise when people judge men and women differently because of the use of gender stereotypes. Studies have demonstrated that people also continue to possess strong occupational gender stereotypes and tend to classify organizations or occupations as masculine, feminine, or gender neutral (White, Kruczek, Brown, & White, 1989). Because of historical model, women should feel that they are possible targets of future sex discrimination in employment situations, particularly in male dominated occupations. For men, however, a belief that they might be future victims of sex discrimination could be increased in an occupation dominated by women. Because men represent a minority in traditionally feminine occupations, they might experience this vulnerability.

One of the proposed explanation for gender bias in the workplace is a role congruity theory (Eagly & Karau, 2002), which explains bias in terms of the compatibility between stereotypes held about job requirements and stereotypes held about gender groups. The greater the incongruence between stereotypical gender characteristics and the gender stereotype of a job, the greater the gender bias. For example, the characteristics necessary to succeed as a CEO may include agentic characteristics such as dominance, aggression, and emotional toughness, which are more strongly associated with males than with females (e.g., Schein, 2001).

Some argue that stereotyping against women may be likely when there is little to no other information available to differentiate among candidates but that stereotyping effects disappear when decision makers have access to individuating information (e.g., Landy, 2008). That is, the more a decision maker has access to information about documentations, skills, relevant experience, and the like, the less the decision maker relies on gender as the basis for decision.

As our previous work focus on the stereotypes associated with job requirements or with groups of people, another explanation for employment bias concentrates on sex segregation in the labor force. Although sex segregation has been found to be declining over time, especially in professional occupations (Pettit & Hook, 2009), there continues to be a disproportionate distribution of men and women in various occupations (U.S. Department of Labor, 2011). In the present study, we use sex distribution within a job as an indicator of the gender stereotypes of the job, identifying that sex distribution may represent gender stereotypes of job requirements as well as gender-based stereotypes based on the sex of typical occupant.

Cite this paper

Detailed Study on Employment Discrimination . (2021, Jul 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/detailed-study-on-employment-discrimination/

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