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Background of the Study


No person should be discriminated and deprived of an
equal opportunity for employment because of his/her age, sex,
creed, political inclination or status in life. Qualifications must
be based on ones capacity and skills.
According to the Anti-Discrimination Commission
Queensland, discrimination occurs when someone is treated
unfairly or badly in certain aspects. Discrimination happens
because people have stereotypical or prejudiced ideas or beliefs
about people because they happen to belong to a particular
group of people or because they have certain personal
characteristics or attributes.
In the US, number of laws has been implemented in
order to mitigate and lessen discrimination at employment.
One of which is an Age Discrimination in Employment Act of
1967 (ADEA) which was passed by their lawmakers to protects
individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment
discrimination based on age. The ADEAs protections apply to
both employees and job applicants. Under the ADEA, it is
unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her
age with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of
employment, including hiring, firing, promotion, layoff,
compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training. The
ADEA permits employers to favor older workers based on age
even when doing so adversely affects a younger worker who is
40 or older.
In the Philippines, a Senate Bill has already been filed to
the Congress. Such bill titled, An Act Prohibiting the
Discrimination on the Employment of Any Individual on the
Basis Merely of Age, was filed on July 1, 2013 by lawmakers
Pia S. Cayetano, Cynthia A. Villar and Paulo Benigno Aquino
IV. The bill seeks to eliminate age discrimination in
employment by prohibiting and penalizing any employer, labor
contractor, and labor organization that will discriminate
against any individual because of his or her age.

However, employment discrimination not only comes


because of ones age. A lot more instances have been reported
to be the reason why there must be a law on antidiscrimination on employment should be implemented.
Provisions of Law for Labour Rights
Article 6 of the International Covenant on Economic
Social and Cultural Rights talks about labour rights such
that:
Article 6. 1. The States Parties to the present
Covenant recognize the right to work, which
includes the right of everyone to the opportunity
to gain his living by work which he freely
chooses or accepts, and will take appropriate
steps to safeguard this right.
Such international law above provides every person the
right to work or to be guaranteed with equal opportunity for
employment. The law also tasks the State to protect such
right.
In the Philippines, the 1987 Constitution of the
Philippines, Article XIII on Social Justice and Human Right
laid down a provision where the State shall provide for equal
employment to all.
Section 3. The State shall afford full protection to
labor,

local

and

overseas,

organized

and

unorganized, and promote full employment and


equality of employment opportunities for all.
The provision carries with it the right of an individual to
be entitled for a full employment and equal employment
opportunities.

With the given international and Philippine laws, it is but


necessary that a certain law regarding employment
discrimination be provided to protect the right to work of the
people.

Body of the Study


Discrimination is any workplace action such as hiring,
firing, demoting, and promoting based on a prejudice of some
kind that results in the unfair treatment of employees because
of a personal characteristic protected by law.
According to
Victorian Equal Opportunity & Human
Rights Commission, there are two types of discrimination,
namely: direct and indirect. Direct discrimination is when a
person treats, or proposes to treat, someone unfavourably
because of a personal characteristic protected by law. Direct
discrimination often happens because people make unfair
assumptions about what people with certain personal
characteristics can and cannot do. For example, refusing to
employ someone on the basis of their age because you think
they are too old to learn new skills. Indirect discrimination
occurs when an unreasonable condition is imposed that
disadvantages a person with a personal characteristic protect
by law. Indirect discrimination happens when a workplace
policy, practice or behaviour seems to treat all workers the
same way, but it actually unfairly disadvantages someone
because of a personal characteristic protected by law. For
example, a requirement for employees to work 12-hour shifts
may appear to treat everyone equally. However, it may

disadvantage employees with family or caring responsibilities.


If the requirement is not reasonable, this is indirect
discrimination.
(http://www.humanrightscommission.vic.gov.au/index.php/wo
rkplace-discrimination)
However, discrimination may come in any form such as
individuals age, disability, family responsibilities, gender
identity, or religion.
As defined in the US Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission, age discrimination involves treating someone
(applicant or an employee) less favorably because of his or her
age. Age discrimination comes to any aspect of employment,
including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions,
layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or
condition of employment. Based on the petition made by the
lawmakers in the Philippines for the proposed Anti-Age
Discrimination in Employment Act of 2013, age discrimination
is the 800-pound gorilla in the workplace that no one talks
about but which thousands of job applicants and employees
experience every day. Blas Ople Policy Center, on the other
hand, said that It deters the principle of inclusive growth, and
leads more people to the path of migration because they cant
even get a foot in the door for job interviews not because they
are not qualified, but because they are not of a certain age. We
are talking here of jobs that should not be age-specific from
messengers to marketing agents and even managerial
positions.
Another type of employment discrimination is the
disability discrimination. The Australian Human Rights
Commission talks about disability discrimination wherein it
occurs when a person is treated less favourably, or not given
the same opportunities, as others in a similar situation
because of their disability. In the same country, a Disability
Discrimination Act 1992 (DDA) has been implemented which
makes it unlawful to discriminate a person, in many areas of
public life, including: employment, education, getting or using

services, renting or buying a house or unit, and accessing


public places, because of their disability. In the Philippines,
Republic Act 7277 Section 5 provides for equal opportunity for
employment to persons with disabilities wherein:
Sec. 5. Equal Opportunity for Employment - No
disable

person

opportunities

shall

for

be

denied

suitable

access

to

employment.

qualified disabled employee shall be subject to


the same terms and conditions of employment
and the same compensation, privileges, benefits,
fringe benefits, incentives or allowances as a
qualified able bodied person.
Family responsibility discrimination (FRD) is another
form of employment discrimination. A study conducted by
Miller Law Group in San Francisco CA on family responsibility
discrimination provides the sources for such claims. In their
study, it was said that Family Responsibility Discrimination
or FRD is a form of gender discrimination against women or
men because of their caregiving responsibilities. A survey of
FRD cases being filed shows they involve a variety of different
employment actions, including: refusing to hire women with
pre-schooled aged children, even though men with preschooled children are hired; failing to promote women with
children while promoting men with children and women
without children; firing an employee for becoming pregnant;
and, failing to promote mothers based on an assumption that
they wont work hard enough because of their family
responsibilities. The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines
provides a provision on how Filipinos and the State have their
own responsibility when it comes to families such that Article
2, Section 5 states that:
SECTION 12. The State recognizes the sanctity
of family life and shall protect and strengthen
the family as a basic autonomous social
institution. It shall equally protect the life of the
mother

and

the

life

of

the

unborn

from

conception. The natural and primary right and


duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for
civic efficiency and the development of moral
character shall receive the support of the
Government.
Other form of discrimination is gender identity. Gender
identity discrimination in the workplace occurs when an
employer discriminates against an employee because of their
gender identity. Discrimination can include terminating a
transgender employee after the employer finds out about the
employee's gender identity or planned transition; denying a
transgender employee access to workplace restroom facilities
available to other employees; requiring a transgender employee
to use a restroom not consistent with the employee's gender
identity or presentation; harassing a transgender employee;
permitting and/or refusing to investigate claims of harassment
by coworkers and supervisors; or any other negative
employment action taken because of an employee's gender
identity.
(http://www.workplacefairness.org/gender-identitydiscrimination).
A Participatory Review and Analysis of the Legal and
Social Environment for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender (LGBT) Individuals and Civil Society entitled
BEING LGBT IN ASIA: THE PHILIPPINES COUNTRY REPORT
was conducted and it was found that LGBT individuals face
challenges in employment both on an individual level and as
members of a community that is subject to discrimination and
abuse. This can be compounded by the weak social status and
position
of
the
individuals
involved.
Examples
of
discrimination were given in both the recruitment of employees
and during regular employment. It was noted that employers
sometimes take advantage of LGBT employees. Sexual
harassment of LGBT employees was reported. A concern was
expressed about potential discrimination in the workplace
based on HIV status. Case studies in this area included
appealing to progressive global corporate practices to advance
local policies for LGBT employees, and testing anti-

discrimination ordinances in relation to employment issues.


(https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1861/
2014%20UNDP-USAID%20Philippines%20LGBT%20Country
%20Report%20-%20FINAL.pdf)
Religious discrimination involves treating a person (an
applicant or employee) unfavorably because of his or her
religious beliefs. It involves not only people who belong to
traditional, organized religions, such as Buddhism,
Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism, but also others
who have sincerely held religious, ethical or moral beliefs.
Religious discrimination can also involve treating someone
differently because that person is married to (or associated
with)
an
individual
of
a
particular
religion.
(https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/types/religion.cfm). Based on the
Philippines 2012 International Religious Freedom Report,
some Muslims reported that they had difficulty being hired for
retail work if they used their real names or wore distinctive
Muslim dress. Many reportedly resorted to adopting Christian
pseudonyms and wearing Western clothing. Despite these
circumstances, amicable ties among religious communities
were common, and many participated in interdenominational
efforts to alleviate poverty.
Nonetheless, employment discrimination has crippling
effects not only to the company, but as well as to the employee,
applicant and even the society as a whole.
The biggest negative effect of workplace discrimination is
the poor working atmosphere it creates. The workplace of the
21st Century is increasingly multicultural, and instances of
discrimination demoralize not just the victim, but also a
significant number of workers who affiliate with the victims
group. This leads to a culture of mistrust, suspicious,
resentment, hostility, and rivalry among the workers, and
formation of cliques. All these developments spread negative
vibes and harm relationships at work, especially free flow of
communications and teamwork, hampering the smooth
functioning of the organization. Another negative effect of

workplace employee discrimination is loss of focus and wasting


of time. Discrimination in the workplace is not just the focus
of the victim, but also tends to take priority in various
meetings. The loss of morale as a result of discrimination
directly translates to loss of productivity. Employees who feel
wronged also tend to switch jobs, forcing the organization to
spend more time and resources on hiring and training new
employees, besides coping with the low productivity of a new
employee. This can also hurt the companys reputation and
lead to backlashes with customers having affinity to the victim
shunning the companys products and services, thereby
having a direct impact on the companys bottom-line.
Workplace discrimination usually has a debilitating effect on
the employees psyche. The victim feels unworthy and at fault,
and with advancement opportunities turning elusive, falls into
a rut of depression. There have been many instances of
workplace discrimination victims indulging in domestic
violence and even murder due to the anger caused by loss of
self-esteem. Workplace discrimination is also a major cause for
the nation's skyrocketing unemployment rate. Many people
remain unemployed not because they are unemployable, but
because companies refuse to hire them due to certain biases.
Workplace discrimination spreads all round negativity and has
a debilitating effect on any organization, the individual, and
society.
(http://www.brighthub.com/office/humanresources/articles/87966.aspx)
Note that the only aim of the International Covenant on
Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the 1987
Constitution of the Philippines is to ensure the protection of
the right to work of all people.

10

Conclusion
Most of the companies, nowadays, includes in their
requirements for hiring or promoting an individual those that
were discussed in this study. While the company has the right
to choose the best employee to fit for the job, it should not be
made at the expense of another. Thus, nobody should be
deprived of work because of his or her age, gender identity,
religious affiliation, and other probable reason not related to
an individuals capabilities and educational attainment
required for the job.
People should be given the right to equal opportunity for
employment, as every one of them has vested with such right.
The main reason is that an individual needs to survive in his
or her country without being dependent to the State. He/she
must earn a living out from his own employment in order to
answer for his or her necessities to live.
Discouraging an individual for an equality of employment
leads to effects that can destroy either him or those who
surrounds him. That is why, every State should provide for
laws on anti-discrimination on employment in order to protect
the citizen and its well-being. It is but the duty of the State to
protect the rights of every person for an equal opportunity.
Hence, the State must enact laws to protect this right.