Employment Classification and Discrimination
In this particular case, we will examine practices in workplaces and the different types of employment relationships by examining the following example:
An employee is hired by Dream Massage to be a massage therapist. She is hired as an independent contractor and, therefore, receives no tax withholding or employment benefits. Dream Massage requires the employee to work a set schedule, provides her clients and all her massage products, and exercises complete control over how she does her work. In addition, when the employee shows up to work the first day, she is informed by her employer she cannot wear her hijab as it violates the company’s dress policy.
Job classification is a proper set system for evaluating the duties and responsibilities of workers in an organization and authority level of a job. The structure of classification should be formal and strict in instructions. The classification of people working in an organization can either be considered as an employee or an independent contractor. An employee generally is one who works normal workweek for an infinite time meaning permanently employed by the organization. A contractor however, as in our case scenario, is a non-employee who performs specialized work that the employees do not do for a certain period of time. The laws for minimum wage and overtime, workers’ compensations, payroll taxes or employment discrimination or any benefits do not cover them since employees do not consider them. The Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor however, with the support of the courts, states that employers have separate standards to satisfy when it comes to recruiting contractors (Attorney, 2008). Generally, as long as no substantial control is exercised over their work, these workers are not referred to as employees. Therefore, in the case of our employee, the independent contractor, her performance at work should be totally independent of the company and its employees.
This is a form of discrimination practiced by employers based on sexual orientation, religion, gender, race, and national origin physical or mental disability of employees or contractors. Discrimination can either be intended involving disparate treatment of a group or be unintended creating disparate impact for a group. Different payrolls and allocation of different roles in the organization does not signify discrimination however. Discrimination affects the economic outputs of same capable workers who get to be treated different because of being different in the eyes of the employer.
In our example above, through the definition of employee classification, it is quite clear that the employee has qualified as an employee rather than an independent contractor. This is because the employer has set a particular set schedule, provides her with products for performing the job and has total control over how she performs her work. This qualifies the employee as a full time employee. The employer has no direct total control over a contractor according to the law. Also, the employer in hiring the particular contractor did not meet separate standards.
The Employee Discrimination laws seek to prevent discriminations mentioned earlier on. In our particular case here, Dream Massage might have the potential of breaking one of these laws against religion. The Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution limit the power of state and federal governments to discriminate. It explicitly requires federal government not to deprive individuals of “life, liberty, or property” also guarantees that each person receives equal protection of laws (Macdonald, 2004). In this case this right was deprived from the employee by asking her to violate her own religion by not wearing the hijab according to her own religion.
There are no particular laws set as guidelines for employee dress codes. The employer may choose to impose whichever laws he/she feels favorable as long as they do not discriminate on the basis of religion, gender and the likes. It is very important not to set very rigid dress codes or very loose ones upon the employees. It is helpful to maintain a balanced approach considering all sensitive matters when it comes to dress code policies. Dress and appearances have grown into more than just unwritten policies and practices made and used by employees. Employers realize that impressions made on customers and clients are important for the organization therefore it is quite important while setting up a dress code to involve employees in their requests and accommodations, include different consideration classes by working with the legal departments and set and manage policies by working with the people involved in setting them directly. Setting and maintaining a long lasting ethical dress code that involves all the workers under an organization involves much collaboration and involvement across the board. This way everyone feels a part of and always willing to comply (Gibson, 2013).