DISCRIMINATION

 

Definitions [p, 389]:

Discrimination: distinguishing one thing form another on the basis of some criterion

 

Unjust Discrimination: distinguishing among people not on the basis of merit but on the basis of prejudice or some other morally suspect attitude

 

Unjust Discrimination in Employment:

(i) A decision is made against one or more employees or prospective employees that that is not based on individual merit, e.g., qualifications

 

(ii) The decision is based on a morally unjustified attitude against the members of the class to which the employee belongs

 

(iii) The decision has a negative impact on the interests of the employees in question

 

Forms:

Intentional Isolated: the discrimination occurs as a result of the isolated behaviour of a single individual who intentionally and knowingly so acts as a result of personal prejudice

 

Intentional Institutional: the discrimination occurs as a result of the routine behaviour of an institutional group which intentionally and knowingly so acts as a result of the prejudices of its members

 

Unintentional Isolated: the discrimination occurs as a result of the isolated behaviour of a single individual who unintentionally and unknowingly so acts as a result of unthinkingly adopting the prejudicial practices and stereotypes of her society

 

Unintentional Institutional: the discrimination occurs as a result of the systematic routine of an institutional group that unintentionally incorporates into its procedures the prejudicial practices of the society in which it operates

 

Morality:

Utility [p. 407]:

(i) Maximal productivity requires that jobs be assigned to those individuals whose skills and personality traits make them most the most competent for the job

 

(ii) Unjust discrimination involves assigning jobs to individuals on the basis of criteria unrelated to competence

 

(iii) Unjust Discrimination is inefficient and, hence, contrary to utilitarian principles

 

Rights:

(i) Each individual has a right to be treated as a free person equal to any other person

 

(ii) Unjust discrimination violates this right to equal treatment

 

Justice:

(i) According to the like-alike principle: individuals similar in all respects relevant to the kind of treatment in question should be treated equally

 

(ii) Unjust discrimination involves treating people who are similar in relevant respects unequally