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It is illegal for firms in different sectors to practice any form of discrimination. To guard against this, various governments such as the Unites States have instituted legislations that stipulate penalties due to discrimination. On the other hand, firms have instituted policies aimed at ensuring non-discrimination.
This paper evaluates the degree to which Publix Incorporation is committed towards ensuring that there is no discrimination. The charges filed against Publix as a result of discrimination are also discussed. The paper also analyzes other anti-discrimination laws that employers should adhere to other than the protected categories.
Despite the claim by the management of Publix Incorporation that the firm is committed to ensuring non-discrimination; the firm has not effectively implemented policies aimed at abating discrimination. This is evident from the intense criticism and law suits by the firm’s former and current employees.
For example, there are a number of law suits that have been filed by former employees claiming that the firm is not committed towards ensuring that there are equal employment and fair promotion opportunities for both women and minority groups within the firm. Despite the management claiming that it has implemented a policy that gives 30% of managerial positions within the firm to women and minority employees; the employees claim that there are no benefits associated with the said managerial positions.
In 1991, approximately 100,000 women employees of the firm filed a class-action suit against the firm claiming that the firm systematically denied them promotion opportunities. The firm was ordered to pay $ 81.5 million in damages (Aitcheson, 1997, p.109).
The firm’s minimal commitment towards ensuring that there is no discrimination with regard to employment opportunity is also evident in the law suit filed by 13 black males who included both the current and former employees of the firm in 1999. In their law suit, they claimed that the firm fired a large number of black employees and also denied them promotion opportunities.
This has made the firm to be dominated by a large number of white males which indicates a high degree of racial discrimination. Due to increased lawsuits, Publix Incorporation has increased its sensitivity towards eliminating cases of racial discrimination and sexual harassment (Groeller, 1999, p.34). The firm has is also increasing its commitment towards ensuring equity in promotion by ensuring diversity in training.
Antidiscrimination law requires employers to avoid any form of discrimination as stipulated by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Act prohibits any form of intentional or unintentional discrimination with regard to age, race, nationality, religion and gender during the course of employment (Miller & Jentz, 2010, p.510). Apart from the protected categories of discrimination such as age, religion, nationality, gender and race amongst others, anti-discrimination laws also stipulates other requirements that employers must adhere to.
For example, it is illegal for employers to discriminate employees on the bases of other aspects such as payment, employee training and educational opportunities, firing employees, overtime, travel requirements and promotion. The Federal Statutes also have also stipulated affirmative actions that ensure equal opportunity for all employees within the workplace (Miller & Hollowell, 2011, p.34). The affirmative action programs act as ‘make up’ for previous cases of discrimination.
The affirmative action policies give individuals of the protected class who had in the past suffered from discrimination preferential treatment with regard to hiring or promotions. In addition, if a firm has an employee who is physically challenged, and the employee is able to execute his or her duties effectively, Title II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act stipulates that such an employee should not be discriminated but reasonable accommodations (Roger & Dollin, 2011, p. 530).
The analysis gives an illustration of the various forms of discrimination that firms should eliminate. To achieve this, firms have to adhere to the stipulated anti-discrimination laws. It also illustrates the importance of ensuring that there is no discrimination within the operation of a firm.
For example, it illustrates that discrimination of any form can result into a firm incurring a significant financial cost. Additionally, the image of the firm tarnished thus limiting its long term success. Firms should also consider other requirements such as equality in training, promotion, reasonable accommodation and ensuring affirmative action to ensure equity within the firm.
Aitcheson, C. (1997). Black enterprise. New York: Earl Grave.
Groeller, G. (1999). Publix suit becomes class action. Web.
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