In the US, there are laws that prohibit discrimination in employment and public accommodations on the basis of gender. This means that a business cannot refuse to provide goods or services to someone based solely on their gender. However, these laws do not cover all scenarios where customers may be discriminated against by businesses based on their sex. In this blog post, we will discuss what is covered under these laws and what isn’t, and how you can reduce your risk of violating them.
Businesses should consider gender parity because not only are they required to by law, but it can also have a positive impact on their business. For example, in the UK, where women are more highly represented in the workforce than men, businesses that have women well represented at senior levels outperform other companies (Deloitte).
Is this scenario covered under US anti-discrimination laws?
The short answer is that this scenario would not be covered by the anti-discrimination laws under US federal law. However, if Juan were an immigrant and did not speak English well, it may be considered national origin discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Please keep in mind that while hiring practices are not specifically protected by these laws, an employment attorney can advise you on how to reduce your risk.
How can businesses avoid discrimination and remain compliant with the law?
The best way for a business to remain in compliance is by hiring and promoting based on merit and potential rather than quotas or opinions formed about an individual’s capabilities based solely on their gender. Merit-based systems are more stable, reliable and can be an effective way of increasing the number of women at the top.
For example, our client Sage North America has a female CEO, Kathy Berra, who started as a sales consultant and, through hard work and dedication, rose to the very top. She did not need any help or assistance from quotas or gender-based mentoring to get there.
Many companies are promoting women-led initiatives with the aim of increasing female employment in leadership positions, but quotas are not a reliable way of achieving this goal. Instead, they should focus on promoting merit-based hiring practices. It is also important that businesses have specific development programs for men and women so that both genders can be successful at all levels.
Finally, businesses should create a diverse workforce by hiring remotely and recruiting globally. This will not only give them access to the best talent regardless of their location, but it can also reduce discrimination based on sex since they are less likely to know the person they are hiring personally, which would make it harder for them to form opinions based on sex.
In conclusion, gender-based discrimination in the business sector is not currently covered by US anti-discrimination laws. However, businesses should look at ways to reduce employment discrimination regardless of its legality. If they do this, both men and women will benefit since there will be equal opportunity for all genders to excel in the workplace.
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