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What is a Non-Discrimination Policy?

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  • Written By: Karize Uy
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 06 November 2016
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A non-discrimination policy is a plan of action adhered to by many companies and institutions committing to grant equal opportunity to any individual without any prejudice. This principle applies to individuals within the institution, who are also prohibited from discriminating against present individuals in the organization as well as future ones. This policy covers many characteristics of a person such as race, gender, and ability.

Companies can apply the non-discrimination policy in the aspect of employment. For example, male-driven industries should not judge a female applicant by her biological difference, but by her ability to work efficiently within the company. In the same way, disabled applicants should also be considered if their disability is not relevant to the skills and abilities needed in the job position. The age of the applicant should also not be the deciding factor, if the applicant’s skills are adequate for the position. The policy also forbids any events of workplace discrimination, such as in project offers, promotions, and salary rates.

Schools committed to a non-discrimination policy also provide equal opportunities in terms of scholarships, admission, and treatment within the classroom. Grounds for granting educational opportunities should be as objective as possible, such as academic excellence. To further discourage any discriminatory acts, many universities usually have extended offices and departments that handle cases of harassment that violate the non-discrimination policy.

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While race and gender are common characteristics subject to discrimination, a non-discrimination policy includes other personal attributes. This includes religion, political affiliation, national origin, and sexual orientation. Marital and veteran statuses can also be included if appropriate.

Alongside the principle of a non-discrimination policy is another set of policies categorized as “affirmative action.” This policy encourages the implementation of equal opportunities. Affirmative action can be very common among universities around the world, in which an allocated number of slots are purposefully set aside for racial minorities, the disabled, and the financially unfortunate. Companies can even have a quota or a required number of employed women, especially in the top positions.

Non-discrimination policy can also put into practice political correctness to reduce any likelihood of discrimination. For example, instead of referring to a person as “white” or “black,” more appropriate terms such as “Caucasian” and “African American” are used. Terms such as “chairman” and “businessman” are replaced with “chairperson” and “businesswoman.” Even disabilities such as blindness or autism are substituted with phrases like “visually challenged” and “mentally challenged,” respectively.

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