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What you should know about reverse discrimination

Reverse discrimination is a term used to describe an action where an individual or group of individuals who are members of a majority, are discriminated against due to what is considered a protected factor, such as gender or race. As an example, a Caucasian male is turned down for a promotion because a company is trying to promote more women or African-Americans into management, even though the male is the more qualified candidate.

While the purpose for these types of promotions within a company is typically done as a way to promote and advance minorities and help to address inequality issues, these types of diversity initiative programs sometimes break discrimination laws instead. This is sometimes due to an incorrect assumption by some employers that individuals who are members of a majority group are not covered by the same type of discrimination laws.

Although reverse discrimination is often hard to prove, there are some actions that typically signify that it has occurred. In example:

-- Overlooking the seniority or experience of a more qualified majority individual to promote or hire someone who is a minority

-- Hiring individuals who are over the age of 40 instead of considering those who are under 40 who are equally as qualified

-- Promoting a woman based on her gender rather than promoting a male who is equally or even more qualified.

Individuals who believe they are the victim of reverse discrimination may have valuable legal rights that should be protected and could potentially benefit from learning more about workplace discrimination as it pertains to their individual case.

Source: FindLaw, "Reverse Discrimination," accessed April. 07, 2015

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