In this section of the paper a specific policy in the issue area will be discuss. The employment anti-discrimination policy plays an important role in the United States. This policy is related to gays and lesbians as they are often discriminated in the workplace. The employment anti-discrimination policy can be regarded as the organizational sexual orientation discrimination which “occurs when a company or organization has formally or informally set or enacted a rule to treat one sexual orientation group differently than another group”ť (Grollman, 2011, para.4).
It is known that any employer who operates his business in the United States must provide a safe working environment for his employees. The employment anti-discrimination policy provides equal opportunity employment for all employees no matter what sexual orientation they have. That is why any employer should provide special training for all his employees, including all levels of the organization. The training program should include any matters connected with anti-discrimination in the workplace and fair employment practices. The employment anti-discrimination policy should include three aspects: equal opportunity, anti-discrimination and harassment (HerdtÂ & Howe, 2007, p.71).
An equal employment opportunity policy which protects gays and lesbians from discrimination and harassment in the workplace is of great importance as it guarantees equal opportunities for gays and lesbians. It mean that they will avoid any unfair employment practices, such as unfair recruitment and selection, unfair training and professional development in the organization, unfair promotion or demotion, unfair performance management activities, suspension and termination. In addition, employment anti-discrimination policy should be based on the at-will employment.Â In this case, the employer of this or that organization has his right to terminate an employee or employees for any reason and at any time, with notice or without notice, provided his decision is not based on discrimination issues. In this case, gays and lesbians have the same rights as other employees of traditional sexual orientation (Herdt & Howe, 2007, p.74).
The anti-discrimination policy is a special policy which prohibits the employers, supervisors and managers and other individuals in the workplace who hold the upper-level positions from their participation in any type of discriminatory acts and practices in the workplace. It is known that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the United States enforces laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination actions based on age, national origin, disability, compensation, race and color, genetic information, pregnancy, religion, sexual orientation and sexual harassment. It means that all employers in the United States should use the guidelines of the regulations of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to create an organization’s anti-discrimination policy. Gays and lesbians have direct relation to this policy because sexual orientation is one of the aspects included in the anti-discrimination policy (Preventing Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace, 2012, para.1).
2.1Â THE BENEFITS OF THE PROPOSED POLICY
The proposed policy has a lot of benefits which can improve the life of gays and lesbians in the United States. First of all, gays and lesbians will have an opportunity to obtain equal rights in the workplace. It means that they will be able to get equal benefits and equal wages for their work. This fact is of great importance as financial support helps to maintain good family relations. Secondly, the employment anti-discrimination policy will give an opportunity to gays and lesbians to feel free in the workplace. It means that their psychological state will be improved. It is known that many gays and lesbians feel repressed in the environment where there are many opponents of homosexual relations. It can improve the employee’s productivity and performance in the workplace, because gays and lesbians will be independent in their decisions, methods of work, etc. Nobody will humiliate and abuse them (Herdt & Howe, 2007, p.76).
2.2Â THE POTENTIAL DOWNFALLS AND SHORTCOMINGS
It is clear that the employment anti-discrimination policy has some potential downfalls and shortcomings. It is not a secret that traditionally, gay men and lesbian employees have little protection from discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Although times are changing and many employers feel responsibility for providing anti-discrimination conditions in the workplace that are absolutely free of harassment and discrimination on the sexual orientation basis, there are still a large number of employers who oppose anti-discrimination policy. One of the potential downfalls of this policy is that no federal law prohibits sexual orientation discrimination in private employment, “an executive order specifically outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation in the federal government”ť (Preventing Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace, 2012, para.2). It is known that any private employer who operates his business in this or that city or state which has a law or regulation that prohibits sexual orientation discrimination should follow this law even if there is no such federal law.
- 1.Â Â Â Â CONCLUSION
In conclusion, it is necessary to say that this paper discusses one of the most important issues in our society, because this issue is closely connected with human rights in such democratic country as the United States. I consider that no matter what sexual orientation an employee has, he or she should be treated fairly. It is known that lesbians and gay men face discrimination in all spheres of human activity, including a workplace. However, there are many cities and counties in the United States which prohibit sexual orientation discrimination in at least some of the workplaces.