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Employment Discrimination and Diversity

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Term
Definition
protected class   A group of persons protected by specific laws because of the group’s defining characteristics, including race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, and disability.  
employment discrimination   Treating employees or job applicants unequally on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, or disability.  
disparate-treatment discrimination   A form of employment discrimination that results when an employer intentionally discriminates against employees who are members of protected classes.  
prima facie case   A case in which the plaintiff has produced sufficient evidence of his claim that the case will be decided for the plaintiff unless the defendant produces evidence to rebut it. [refers to a fact that is presumed to be true unless contradicted by evidence]  
disparate-impact discrimination   Discrimination that results from certain employer practices or procedures that, although not discriminatory on their face, have a discriminatory effect.  
constructive discharge   A termination of employment brought about by making the employee’s working conditions so intolerable that the employee reasonably feels compelled to leave.  
sexual harassment   The demanding of sexual favors in return for job promotions or other benefits, or language or conduct that is so sexually offensive that it creates a hostile working environment.  
tangible employment action   A significant change in employment status or benefits, such as occurs when an employee is fired, refused a promotion, or reassigned to a lesser position.  
business necessity   A defense to an allegation of employment discrimination in which the employer demonstrates that an employment practice that discriminates against members of a protected class is related to job performance.  
bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ)   Identifiable characteristics reasonably necessary to the normal operation of a particular business. These characteristics can include gender, national origin, and religion, but not race.  
seniority system   A system in which those who have worked longest for an employer are first in line for promotions, salary increases, and other benefits, and are last to be laid off if the workforce must be reduced.  
affirmative action   Job-hiring policies that give special consideration to members of protected classes in an effort to overcome present effects of past discrimination.  


   






 
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Created by: leighg2011