What is reverse discrimination?

Most people in California are aware of discrimination against minority groups such as non-whites or females. However, the term reverse discrimination has come to light in the last few years, which has resulted in an increase in litigation by majority groups.

According to FindLaw, reverse discrimination occurs when a member of a majority group is classified solely because of gender, race or other protected factor, and as a result is discriminated against. While affirmative action and other diversity initiative programs were meant to make things fairer to minorities in educational situations or the workplace, their use can sometimes be seen as reverse discrimination.

Cases brought before the court have found it is difficult to prove reverse discrimination occurred. In an employment situation, the plaintiff is responsible for proving:

  • An employer has historically discriminated against privileged groups
  • They are considered part of a majority group
  • Their performance on the job was satisfactory
  • Other employees in similar roles who were of a minority class were treated more favorably

In educational settings, the Washington Post states that reverse discrimination is alive and well. In fact, some schools have surpassed the required percentage of minorities, and yet are supposedly denying applications of similarly-qualified students because they are Caucasian or in some other majority group.  

One area that still seems to be dominated by a majority group, specifically the male population, is the entertainment industry. To help level the playing field, the state of New York passed a bill that will give a tax credit of $50,000 to television shows for each person of color or woman they grant employment to.

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