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Diversity In Workplace - Benefits and Legal Considerations for Diversity in Workplace - Benefits of Diversity in Workplace, Laws Regarding Diversity in Workplace, Conclusion

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“Diversity in workplace” describes the ongoing push for organizations to hire a variety of races, genders, religions, and ethnicities. Though a number of laws require diversity for organizations of a certain size, business analysts and researchers have argued that diversity carries benefits that translates into a more vibrant and profitable company.

Benefits of Diversity in Workplace

The multicultural workplace enjoys a broader understanding of its constituents, allowing for more insightful marketing toward people of many backgrounds. The Harris Interactive research group reports that ninety-three percent of Fortune 500 senior management officials feel that diversity is a “key business driver.” (“Dynamics of Diversity”; American Society for Training and Development, Inc.; November 2009)

A diverse workforce can think about issues from different viewpoints, bringing different perspectives from their backgrounds. In its broadest sense, diversity can include differing backgrounds and work styles, even mental disorders such as Asberger’s Syndrome (a functional form of autism). In the goal of producing numerous solutions so that the best can be chosen, the diverse workforce is equipped to generate a broader range of ideas.

Laws Regarding Diversity in Workplace

The United States government has often ruled on the subject of diversity, and several laws dictate the standards by which human resource workers must consider when hiring employees:

  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA): This law has prohibited discrimination based on age since 1967. Persons over age 40 who feel that they did not receive employment or were terminated from their job based on age can go directly to federal courts to file suit. More information the ADEA can be found on the ADEA page of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Last amended in September 2008, the ADA prohibits employers from refusing an otherwise capable employee based on a disability that does not prevent them from performing their job. The U.S. Government ADA Page documents the specifics of these laws, providing services, news, and a twenty-four page PDF.
  • Equal Pay Act (EPA): Originally titled the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1958 but amended into its current form in 1963, the EPA Act prohibits sex-based discrimination on wages. This law covers all forms of pay, including insurance, vacation, and other benefits. It is described in more detail by the EPA page of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964: This well-known law encompasses all manner of discrimination including color, ethnicity, religion, and gender. Title VI of the Act governs discrimination and can be studied in detail at the United States Department of Justice. The full history of this landmark law can be found on the United States Archives.


Supported by research, accepted by the bulk of senior management, and enforced by United States law, diversity in workplaces has become a major consideration for most companies. Those that ignore it run not only the risk of lawsuits, but also of falling behind their more inclusive competitors, competitors which can draw on a greater range of expertise and background knowledge.

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