Some thoughts about discrimination in the workplace
(I originally posted this on Fark)
I personally believe that private business should be allowed to make decisions on hiring and firing as long as they state explicitly what those criteria are up front. I also believe the government has the obligation not to discriminate at all except on the basis of consistent, justifiable criteria, nor to purchase any good or service from a company that does discriminate.
For example, if a private business advertised a job opening, they would have to state any limitations on who they would hire in the advertisement. If they restricted access to a certain clientele, that would also have to be advertised as well as displayed prominantly at the entrance to the business. In addition, government agencies would be prohibited from doing any form of business with a company that practiced discrimination.
This all comes down to what I consider a fundamental right, the freedom of association. A business has the right to associate with whomever they want, but they have to explicitly tell all interested parties what the criteria are. Since government also has the right to purchase goods and services from whomever they want, they have the right to only purchase from companies that do not discriminate. It's all self-consistent.