No one is happy with the nation’s public assistance system, not the working taxpayers who must support it, not the social welfare professional who must administer it, and certainly not the poor who must live under it. Even after sixty-five years of large-sale, direct federal involvement, human rights remain a central issue in U. S. politics. The real problems in protecting and executing human rights laws are not problems of organization, administration, or service delivery.
Rather, they involve political conflicts over the nature and causes of poverty and inequality, the role of government in society, the appropriate strategies for coping with social problems, the need for reform, and the nature of the decision-making process itself. In short, human rights protection are a continuing political struggle over the issues posed by poverty and inequality and by other social problems in American society and that of the whole world in general. The United Nations therefore institutes certain guarantees for human beings, if not necessarily for its member nations.
Through the three articles under the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the issues of job discrimination, motherhood, and education in the United States are put in relative spotlight. Article 23 states that “Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work. ” Discrimination is such a broad subject some business people are not aware they are caught in it or promoting it. In the corporate setting, it is likely job discrimination that is zeroed in on.
It is an unfavorable action brought against a person because of a characteristic unrelated to job performance. Job discrimination is a major aspect of unfairness. Being fair to people means equity, reciprocity, and impartiality. Fairness revolves around the issue of giving people equal rewards for accomplishing equal amounts of work. The goal of human resource legislation is to make decisions about people based on their qualifications and performance; not on the basis of demographic factors such as sex, race, or age.
A fair working environment is where performance is the only factor that counts (equity). Employer-employee expectations must be understood and met (reciprocity). Prejudice and bias must be eliminated (impartiality) (Zack, 2000). Discriminating against others is illegal as well as unethical. Many federal, state, and local laws prohibit discrimination in all phases of employment. The obvious situations in which to guard against discrimination are in hiring and promoting people. Job discrimination has been a vital factor in the unemployment rate in the country.
Although unemployment occurs among all social and occupational groups, it is especially concentrated among the young, some racial and ethnic minorities, women, and those who live in declining urban areas. In this regard, affirmative actions have to be designed to help correct past patterns of discrimination in employment. Many governments seek to ameliorate the often-devastating effects of long-term unemployment through Unemployment Insurance and Social-Welfare programs (Zack, 2000).
Particularly in the United States, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, also known as Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) mandates, prohibits employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against applicants and employees in all aspects of employment, including recruiting, hiring, pay, promotion, training and termination, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion or gender (Zack, 2000). Experts are predicting wide-ranging changes to the whole culture of workplaces: from advertising jobs and interviewing procedures to the way people conduct themselves in the office.
It is undeniable, for instance, that several alarming events have eclipsed national discourse on discrimination, especially racism, in American society. In the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks on the United States, few American citizens thought about any of the pressing issues that were so important on September 10, 2001 and before. In the months that followed, the nation became preoccupied with terrorism, homeland security, and other global matters such as issues relating to Iraq, North Korea, and Liberia.
In the aftermath of accounting scandals that bankrupted companies such as Enron and WorldCom, almost all political, legal, and social discussions of corporate activity, corporate law, and corporate governance relates to financial disclosure and accounting matters. Few are focused in a substantial way on the impact of racism within public companies and its effect on employees, consumers, suppliers, and communities of color. Even though we find it difficult to talk about, discrimination persists. It has changed form to some extent, but its effect remains unmitigated (Zack, 2000).
Furthermore, an overemphasis on political factors would be unethical. Yet this ethical doctrine is not always easy to implement. It is human nature to want to give bigger rewards, such as fatter raises or bigger orders, to people we like. But a highly ethical person reaches out to diverse people, including young and old, able-bodied and disabled, white and people of color (Zack, 2000). Article 25 states that “Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection. ”