Today, the protection of employees is relatively high compared to the past, when employees were subjects to the discrimination from the part of employers. Moreover, employers could conduct unethical and unjust policies concerning their employees without any risk of being punished. The implementation of any sanctions against employers used to be practically impossible. In such a situation, many employees suffered from the oppression of their basic human rights and liberties. At this point, women were in a particularly difficult position because they could not compete with men and employers often discriminated women, especially in regard to the professional career of employees and the process of employment itself. What is meant here is the fact that often employees were deprived of an opportunity of getting a job because of gender, age, racial and other issues which made employees subjects to discrimination. As a result, some employees, for instance women, could suffer from discrimination. Therefore, the problem of fair hiring is extremely important, especially nowadays, when the existing legislation protects rights of employees and attempts to prevent any kind of discrimination, including discrimination based on gender and racial principles.
In such a situation, it is rather possible to speak ideal legal and ethical norms which could eliminate the threat of discrimination. In this respect, it should be said that the current legislation is quite good and the basic legal and ethical principles of hiring should be primarily focused on the objectivity of the process of hiring. What is meant here is the fact that ideally an employer should take into consideration only professional qualities and experience of an employee to take a decision concerning his/her possible employment in an organization.
For instance, it is possible to develop legislative norms which could define the basic criteria, such as the qualification of an employee, experience, achievements or rewards of an employee, which should be taken into consideration by an employer in the process of hiring while all the others, such as race, gender, etc. should be totally ignored. The same may be said about ethical principles and norms of fair hiring. An employer should not be biased and objectively assess whether the qualification and probably personal qualities of a potential employee meet the demands of the organization or not and only on the basis of these criteria an employer should take the final decision.
Nevertheless, at the present moment it is necessary that the existing laws concerning hiring practices were not violated. In this respect, the major tool, with the help of which it is possible to ensure that the process of selection and recruitment is fair and just, is the openness of the process of hiring. What is meant here is the fact that employees should have access to the basic information concerning the professional qualification, abilities and experience of their rivals. They should also be informed about basic criteria an employee should meet to get the job. Finally, in case of a refusal, an employee should get a motivated response why he/her has not been employed that means that an employee should clearly explain the reason because of which the particular employee has not been chosen. Also it is possible to recommend to employers to give some information to other potential employees about the advantages of the recruited employee compared to his/her rivals.
At the same time, it is possible to estimate that even the existing laws can be used quite effectively to protect an employee from retaliation and termination. In this respect, it should be said that women are formally protected by the existing laws against any kind of discrimination or violation of their rights, for instance, the right to get education. In fact, there is a number of anti-discriminatory laws, such as Fair Employment Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and others (Hastings, 2006). In such a situation, women just need to inform their manager about the violation of their rights. Managers should react on employees’ report. Otherwise, they can appeal to the court in case their rights are violated or they are discriminated.
In this respect, it should be said that the American legislation has made a considerable progress compared to the past epoch. For instance, the position of employees in the mid-20th century and today is quite different. Speaking about discrimination of women, which has been just mentioned above, it should be said that they had fewer opportunities of getting a job, if they competed with men because employers often preferred to hire men, instead of women, even though their qualification was equal (Lin, 2004). The same trend could be traced in relation to the career development since men had larger opportunities to get a higher position in an organizational hierarchy compared to women. The latter had fewer opportunities to make a successful career. Even today, there are a few women among top managers of leading companies.
In addition, it is worth mentioning the fact that pregnancy often meant the end of professional career for women, but due to the implementation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, women are protected now, although the act does not fully protect women from losing better job opportunities. Even today, many women still have to change their job and get part-time job, if they have children.
On the other hand, employees, including women, are protected today since gradually, discriminatory practices were eliminated or minimized due to the introduction of numerous anti-discrimination acts. In fact, the common trend is the enlargement of job opportunities for all employees regardless of their ethnic origin, gender, age, physical abilities. The main criterion which does matter in the employment today is supposed to be the qualification of an employee and his or her professional skills and abilities. However, it is still impossible to speak about absolutely equal and just conditions of employment since some elements of discriminatory practices still persist.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is possible to conclude that employees should simply take a more active position in relation to their employers and actively protect their rights, in accordance with the existing laws, which, being far from perfect, still can protect them from discrimination and violation of their rights. In fact, employees have got larger opportunities to protect their rights and liberties due to legislative changes which aim at the elimination of discrimination and creation of equal opportunities for all employees.