Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Discrimination is discrimination, period: rejecting the idea of “reverse” discrimination

At her Employment & Labor Insider, Robin Shea wrote a great post reminding everyone that it’s “illegal to discriminate against white people” (aka, reverse discrimination). But, did you know that courts impose different legal standards for discrimination against white employees than for discrimination against black employees? A non-minority employee asserting a claim of race discrimination “must demonstrate background circumstances to support the suspicion that the defendant is that unusual employer who discriminates against the majority.”

Last I checked, EEOC stands for “Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” not “Minority Employment Opportunity Commission.” A minority manager is just as capable of committing discrimination as a white manager. The law should not treat “reverse” discrimination any differently. Discrimination is discrimination. Applying different proof standards depending on the perpetrator of the alleged discrimination re-enforces the very stereotypes that our EEO laws intend to eradicate. Can we please remove from the law this idea of “reverse” discrimination, and just agree that discrimination is wrong regardless of the races of those accused of perpetrating it.