21 September 2010

It's the Stupid Economy: Job Discrimination Rules

You've heard the jokes over and over regarding an old political comment which went, very simply, "It's the economy, stupid." And it has been quite obvious that the economic condition has been poor for the past four years. Despite what you may read on today's USA TODAY about the recession having been over in June of 2009, there's not reason to believe that for most Americans. Come on and be honest about it, don't be stupid about it - the economic condition has not become dramatically better, no matter how many figures get thrown at the news media. Hey, I'm a member of the news media and I really don't think I can believe that the positive numbers are outweighing the negative numbers because I still have been getting the same feedback that I've seen for the past four years: jobs which can improve your life's standing are not there for the majority of Americans.

There is evidence on Yahoo! today - a story from the New York Times. Here's a link to this story here. It discusses something which I have posted about in the past: that Americans over 35 are increasingly not allowed to compete for the jobs allegedly available. Job discrimination is not only happening, but it is happening for an extended period of time.

Not telling the truth is simply the way "around" violations of trust, violations of rules and ethics, violations of understanding. What do you think of these violations? Apparently you either completely agree or you find fault with my findings because you're the boss who lies or the Human Resources person who MUST lie in order to keep your own job these days.

What happened to "The Golden Rule" when it comes to business and honesty?

Is it now a "new business-only Golden Rule" which completely dominates the world of business and economics?

Do unto others as you are going to be done unto by others when you are doing your job in business.

Read that again. Does this sound like the way corporations do business on a regular business? IF it is NOT, then I encourage you to tell me which corporation does not or companies do not follow this new "recipe" for business dealings. Overall for this particular writing, the way business is conducted with other business isn't necessarily the target of my critical thinking, but more the way these companies handle one-on-one dealings with potential employees. This is not to say that B2B is staying out of these bad situations. We occasionally read the stories about certain businesses becoming the targets of investigations or allegations of potential wrongdoing within a business transaction. These include some notorious gaffes such as that of Arthur Anderson's mismanagement, numerous banks which took it on the chin for making two-sided deals in which they caused their own downfall, and manufacturing companies which sold-out their businesses to others who were larger only to find themselves the target of an investigation into the "new owners" when they were only a subsidiary of that group for months. It can cut both ways in B2B - good or bad. But in one-on-one employment situations, where is the "control" that is supposed to be exercised by the "good" companies in good faith with potential hired hands?

Reviewing the New York Times article which appeared on Yahoo!, it shows a woman who has a good work history but cannot find a job with similar earnings largely because she is older than Generation X. Frankly, if I am reading this right (and I am no legal expert), this particular case could be one in which the woman could potentially file as part of a class-action suit against someone to which she applied for work IF there were dozens or hundreds of others in her age range who applied for open positions and did not get them because of their age and income history. IF those jobs went to someone who is just out of college or university and holds a similar degree but is 30 years her junior there is age discrimination. Unfortunately, she's not necessarily going to be looking for an attorney to file such a suit because she does not want to be labeled a troublemaker. And --- here's the interesting part to esquires around the country --- I am not a proponent of filing lawsuits as a general rule. I believe in forgiveness. Moreover, most of us believe in not attempting to make another wrong. The vernacular has been "two wrongs don't make a right" for good reason. We don't necessarily gain anything out of bringing down another. BUT, if it's obvious that such a thing will be best-served for the overall good of the public which is being unwillingly the target of unethical business practices, then I think filing suits is clearly the way to refocus the target to the party which is being unethical time and again.

This economy sucks. And if you missed this key piece to that article, I'd like to point it out now:
Of the 14.9 million unemployed, more than 2.2 million are 55 or older. Nearly half of them have been unemployed six months or longer, according to the Labor Department. The unemployment rate in the group — 7.3 percent — is at a record, more than double what it was at the beginning of the latest recession.

This doesn't sound good in its tenor and tone. This not only signals what I was saying months ago about job discrimination against Generation X, but it comes to show one thing that I did not want to believe was happening then:

Age discrimination has extended its ugly range WELL PAST Gen-X to those who rightfully can file suits against those who have been practicing such discrimination. It's criminal, folks, not petty or nitpicky.

If the rules against age discrimination aren't being utilized against the companies and corporations that have been so doing for the 50 or older crowd --- what do you think that means for those between 35 and 50?

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