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Ethical Issues in Employment Law

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Ethical Issues in Employment Law

Ethical Issues in Employment Law Employment discrimination is illegal. Or is it? The answer is, yes and no. Employers may not discriminate against employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin due to a civil rights bill passed by John F. Kennedy in 1963, otherwise known as Title VII. Employers may, however, discriminate if there is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ). For example, a clothier who only sells women’s clothing may only want to hire female models to show their clothes to potential buyers; a company like GNC (General Nutrition Center) may only want to hire employees who are fit and know about fitness products to become salespeople in their stores. An Act of Law that followed in 1978 is the Pregnancy Discrimination Act which states employers or potential employers cannot discriminate against women who are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Although this Act exists, this type of discrimination happens often. In July of 1999, I changed jobs and accepted a position at Merrill Lynch here in Denver. In September of that year, I found out, and announced to my employer, that I was expecting and due the next May. The following month, my boss called me into the office and a Human Resources representative was also present. After exchanging a few pleasantries, I found out that I was being let go because I had a forgery charge on my criminal history that I did not disclose on my application. I told them that was years before and I DID disclose this information on my application and was hired anyway. They obtained a copy of my application and found that I was correct, but had to let me go anyway because the SEC would not allow an employee with a forgery charge to become or remain employed. I asked them if I was not employable, why was I hired in the first place. I left a government job after...

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