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Human Rights and Equal Opportunities in Recruitment and Selection in the United States of America and the Republic of Korea

Autor:   •  November 9, 2016  •  Essay  •  2,000 Words (8 Pages)  •  624 Views

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Human Rights and Equal Opportunities in Recruitment and Selection in the United States of America and the Republic of Korea

Kwonhee (Maggie) Lee

Fundamentals of Management 2 Hrm

        Human rights are universal and protected by laws all over the world. The right to equality and nondiscrimination is especially crucial in business, as all recruitment and selection processes should be fair and give equal chances to all candidates. This is a given in many democratic and advanced countries such as the United States or the Republic of Korea. Yet the level of degree, transparency, and reinforcement of mandating human rights varies extremely between societies. A comparison of human rights in the recruitment and selection processes between the United States of America and the Republic of Korea will prove how “equal opportunities” are not standardized and truly “equal” in whichever society.

        The United States of America has a very transparent and explicit law regarding nondiscrimination. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a physical embodiment of the law. The EEOC regulates and restricts businesses in how much power they hold over prospective and current employees. Based upon the Civil Rights of 1964, people cannot be discriminated against their race, national origin, color, sex, religion, disability, age, and genetic information.  Therefore interviewers have to be wary of asking any personal questions that could be interpreted as discrimination. Hiring managers are forbidden to ask if a candidate is a U.S. citizen, although they may inquire if the candidate has legal status to apply for a job in the United States. They may ask the long-term future plans of a prospective employee but cannot specifically touch upon the subject of retirement. Political affiliations, religious beliefs, and questions regarding personal and family life are all prohibited. If an interviewee is asked one of the questions, he/she can file a claim against the company through the EEOC based upon one of the criteria he/she was discriminated upon. Screening and background checks are also bound to the same principles. None of the processes can be conducted upon any of the criteria stated above.

        Even if such laws exist and the average citizen is given some power against corporations, discrimination still exists in the United States. Companies may recruit select employees on unethical matters, such as physical appearance and ethnicity. One of the biggest and most controversial discrimination cases was with the American clothing brand Abercrombie and Fitch. Abercrombie was accused of being discriminatory in its hiring practices. In a 2006 Salon interview CEO Mike Jeffries remarked that the brand is “exclusionary” and only for “cool kids”. When examining marketing and hiring practices, a quite noticeable trend could be observed. The female models were all unrealistically skinny with blonde hair and blue eyes, and the male models were all miniature Greek gods with white skin and athletic bodies. Not just the models, but also the actual employees within the stores were “all-American” white people. Cashiers and store employees were all white Americans that were consistent with Abercrombie’s brand image. In 2003, nine minority litigants filed a lawsuit against Abercrombie for discriminating minorities. These individuals claimed that Abercrombie had refused jobs or fired people based on their color. The ethnicities in question were African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans. These applicants were qualified in every aspect but were rejected from jobs or allocated to work in stockrooms where they could not be seen publicly. The lawsuit was successful and the litigants were rewarded $40 million. Yet, Abercrombie and Fitch is just one of the many whitewashed corporations that discriminate minorities in their employment practices.

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