Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Affinity Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace

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“Affinity (Sexual Orientation) Discrimination There are no federal laws that cover sexual orientation discrimination at this time. However, under the Civil Service Reform Act of 178, employees may file a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel of the Merit System Protection Board if they are adversely affected by a prohibited personnel practice, such as discrimination based on political affiliation, marital status, sexual orientation, etc.” (Dept. of Psychology, UOW).

- “Affinity Orientation Act A person attracted to those of his or her own gender. Affinity orientation is not a protected category under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Those who are terminated or not hired solely on the basis of affinity orientation have no claim for relief under that law. However, WI, CA, MA, HI, CT, NJ, MN, VT and over 15 municipalities have legislation extending employment protection and benefits to gays and lesbians.” (Dept. of Psychology, UOW).

- There are no real laws affecting gays and lesbians in the workplace. However, with Sexual Affinity Orientation, employees can file complaints when they feel discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. As stated, they can file their complaints because of the Civil Service Reform Act of 178. Because there are no official laws set forth by the government, this act provides some security for homosexuals in the workplace.

- The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy affects military personnel. Under this policy, applicants are not asked about their sexual orientation and it prohibits the harassment of homosexual military personnel. However, “…homosexual conduct is grounds for discharge.” (Dr. Osei Darkwa).

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- The Anti-Defamation League “…is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry” (ADL, 001). They believe in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) legislation. This would provide legal protection to homosexuals in the workplace. They also believe

“…that employment decisions such as hiring, firing, promotion and compensation should be based on merit, performance, and ability � and never on the basis of an individual’s sexual orientation. No one should be dismissed from their job solely because of their sexual orientation.

Unfortunately, in the vast majority of states, it is not illegal to fire someone simply because that person is a gay man or a lesbian. Support for ENDA sends an important message to all Americans that sexual orientation discrimination will not be tolerated in the workplace” (ADL, 001).

I feel that homosexuals should not be discriminated against in the workplace. They are human beings just like everyone else. It should be nobody’s business who they choose to sleep with. Nobody should be put in a position to feel uncomfortable about being themselves. Everyone has to work and support themselves and everyone is entitled to work in an environment that is comfortable and “safe”. They should not feel threatened and should definitely not feel like they are different than everyone else. They should also be represented just like everyone else. There are laws to protect people from discrimination, and this should just be a stipulation to that law. Just as there are laws to protect discrimination on race, gender and age, sexual orientation should be added to that list. I think this is important because then everyone gets the same message which is no discrimination at all.

In my workplace, there are no homosexuals that I am aware of. I know that if there were, my co-workers and I would be completely comfortable and able to work side by side with the individual. Just because they might have a different sexual orientation that I do, it does not mean that they are any less competent to do the job that I do. Therefore, I believe that there should be more laws to protect homosexuals in the workplace. I think the government should do a better job of assuring liberty and justice

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