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March 27, 2020
Workplace Discrimination Based on Conditions
Education discrimination in the workplace
Discrimination is simply defined as ‘consideration or treatment based on category or
class as opposed to individual merit’. Merit is defined as ‘demonstrated achievement or ability’.
When the term 'workplace discrimination' is mentioned, it is often concerning gender, race,
ethnic background, and age (Cornett, n.d). There are endless talks and studies done on
discrimination based on one’s gender, class, or racial background that tend to occur through and
within education. However, we tend to overlook the existence of discrimination based on
education, which is concerning differences in one's education status, opportunity, credential,
ability, and/or achievement.
Discrimination in regard to education is real and it often takes place when employers
discriminate some employees in protected classes either unwittingly or intentionally. The term
'education-based discrimination' can simply be referred to as the unjust, arbitrary, and
promiscuous denial of respect, voice, freedoms, privileges, and rights to those who lack in
education. In this context, education simultaneously or variously refers to one’s native academic
ability, schooling opportunity, formal credentials, or intellectual achievements (Cornett, n.d).
From a common-sense perspective, most individuals share a suspicion or awareness of
the existence of education-based discrimination on a massive scale (Tannock, 2008). These
manifestations of condescension and elitism exist all the way up the educational hierarchy which
results in the exclusion, disregard, and scorning of 'failed academics', same treatment given to the
unschooled and the high school dropouts.
Education discrimination can take place in the workplace context or during the hiring
process and is rarely considered illegal since it does not violate any federal law that protects
workers from discrimination (Cornett, n.d). However, education discrimination can fall inbetween being illegal and legal if the education requirements outlined by the employer make it
hard to get employed or undertake the assigned tasks for those protected under different laws.
Nowadays, a high school diploma is a common requirement for almost every job,
including menial labor. Employers having this requirement may be conducting discrimination
unwittingly against candidates who are unable to graduate as a result of learning disabilities or
other challenges (Cornett, n.d). Similarly, having a requirement of a high school or college
diploma from an accredited school limits naturalized students who may have received their
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