Not-So-Equal Opportunity: 10 Discrimination Issues That Made Headlines

Discrimination casesWe've come a long way since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, legislation that Martin Luther King Jr. is credited with helping push through.

Society has continued to diversify, attitudes have (generally) widened and employers have become strong advocates of "equal opportunity" for all employees and job applicants.

Or have they?

AOL Jobs has covered countless workplace discrimination cases, and on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we highlight some of the most significant and interesting civil rights issues it reported in the last year. From race to appearance, religion to sexuality, these 10 run the gamut.

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The military should not be included here. There are age, height and weight requirements to enlist. They're not going to take people who are overweight, anorexic or vertically challenged. Soldiers know they have to continue to meet phyical performance standards to stay in. Those standards differ by sex and change with age. A 40 year old is not expected to meet the same standards as an 18 year old. So what's this gal's complaint, they already made an exception for her age? The military has to have standards since people need to be able to keep up with each other. If fleeing an enemy with comrades, who wants to be the Goodyear blimp trailing 45 seconds behind everyone else?

January 16 2012 at 11:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

She definitely discriminated against a transgender who wants to dress as a female. A business canniot discriminate and if the sales woman couldn't handle it then she better work somewhere else, in this case she was fired and rightly so.

January 16 2012 at 9:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here's one that DIDN'T make the news, but you continue to pay for:

January 16 2012 at 9:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Discrimination or discrimination allegation? There is a difference.

January 16 2012 at 8:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What if she was right , and it was guy dressed in womens clothes!
There are preditors in the wolrd, and you child is in a room changing , that would bother me!
As a consumer , the employee was looking out for the best interest of real women.
Women that want to be men and vise versa , there should be a designated area, including bathrooms now that society has divided its self into transgender. I my self, dont feel confident that another women could be looking at me sexually, if a man does it, hes a preditor! Why should another woman get away with it! It comes down to sexual. So give them their own space , and me mine. MEN, Women, transgender, 3 dressing rooms , 3 bathrooms Think about your child dressing or in a bathroom , with someone unknown dressed to be opisit sex, very confusing and can be scary to some children to feel safe!

January 16 2012 at 8:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's sad but true!! In 2012, some people and establishments are still threatened and full of ignorance. Our Society is in enough trouble, yet we're still more concerned with blatant discrimination. Don't forget about discrimination against any, minority students in major colleges(ie; Penn State particularly) being treated diferently, and openly being demoralized. I spoke with a director about this and they wanted to sweep the incident under the rug. This is sure form of robbery, to assure minorities don't get ahead. Unfortunately, the student left the school because they did not receive proper help or attention from support staff or professors.

January 16 2012 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One that isn't mentioned much, but IS a HUGE problem, especially in California, is against people who are more then qualified, yet don't speak Spanish. I am so sick and tired of someone who has way less experience, lack of licensing or time in the "career" being chosen over me and others who DO have the qualifcations that outweigh the other person. Yet, the other person who speaks spanish fluently is hired. I don't apply at the one's who blatently say "Spanish a MUST", because that is an obvious sign of a waste of time. But, for those that don't say it is, then turn and do it, THAT is discrimination! It happens ALL THE TIME! I'm fed up! I work my butt off, I have to go through a lot and spend A LOT to KEEP my license current. But, because I only speak a small amount of Spanish and refuse to have it as a "mandatory" for me to work, I get overlooked, while the one who isn't even licensed gets the job and paid the SAME for it does. BS!! How about WE start suing in numbers over that!

January 16 2012 at 7:20 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Merenda's comment

Seems to me, Merenda, that someone should be spending her online time studying Spanish rather than c/o some imaginary discrimination.
Anyone who has such skills as you purport to have could certainly learn a second language.

January 16 2012 at 8:08 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

It's like any job that requires certain qualifications, if you don't posses that qualification and you see it holds you back then you do something about it. You take classes or take technical training and get certified.

Why are some people opposed to learning another language, whether Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish or other foreign languages that would benefit them in the long run? Some parents even prevent their children from learning Spanish in school, and it's free.

Spanish is no longer the language you speak with your waiter while on holiday on the Costas. The facts are that Spanish has become the second most important business language in the world after English; Spanish companies now own the likes of Abbey, BAA and O2 among other companies in the UK and many other companies around the world; and the Spanish economy is the eighth largest economy in the world, bigger than that of Russia, Canada or India just to name three (out of 190 countries).

I guess some people don’t have the intelligence to learn another language, especially if they have problems speaking English correctly.

January 16 2012 at 9:28 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I read a comment by a person below about lowering the standards for FL police standards for testing. Why do you think kids in school are coming out not even being able to read. Schools also are lowering standards just to move students out.

January 16 2012 at 7:02 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Hertz did not fire them fro religion purposes but for stealing time for not punching out on the time clock. What would happen if you did that. Do you think your boss will like it.

January 16 2012 at 6:50 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to polish120's comment

Inflamatory headlines sell advertising.

January 16 2012 at 8:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am so tired of hearing about giving Amnesty to the illegal immigrants. We keep hearing of all these plans the White House is coming up with, lets just wave the magic wand and poof all is forgiven and now you can be here legally. Then start paying the Government your fair share out of your pay check, yes the free ride is over for you.
How many will come forward knowing no more free medical, no more sending their kids to school for free, no more food stamps, no more keeping your whole pay check after pay day.
These people are not stupid, they have a network of people who teach them on how to work the system and not get caught.
Now don't get me wrong, there will be the ones who will come forward in order to get on the SSI disability band wagon and just retire. Get themselves a nice section 8 house, rent out a few rooms to other illegal immigrants, and live the America dream...

January 16 2012 at 6:41 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to ragtopdaz's comment

You don't know what a lot of these illegal immigrants have been trying to get legal work status or legal residence. Some have paid thousands of dollars to crooked immigration attorneys taking their money for years with lame excuses and promises. Many take English lessons and there is a waiting list for hundreds wanting to learn English.

I personally know a family where the parents have been trying to get legal status and have paid over $10,000 to an attorney over 18 years ago and the attorney left his practice. These people are scammed by the legal system and work field. It is wrong both morally and inhumane.

They pay taxes and have payroll deduction and will not see a penny of it when they are ready to retire. They bought a home, have cars and the husband has a licensed landscaping business. His wife works as a maid and she works on her days off helping him with his business.

These are honest hard working people and have never gotten welfare or food stamps or ever attempted for any even with the three children they have. Many are self sufficient and they make do with what they have and know how to skimp and save for whatever they need by paying cash, never in debt like the rest of the American people who are in debt up to their ears.

January 16 2012 at 9:46 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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