Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 109, Issue 2, pp 209–217

Anti-Discrimination Laws: Undermining Our Rights


DOI: 10.1007/s10551-011-1120-6

Cite this article as:
Portillo, J. & Block, W.E. J Bus Ethics (2012) 109: 209. doi:10.1007/s10551-011-1120-6


The purpose of this article is to argue in favor of a private employer’s right to discriminate amongst job applicants on any basis he chooses, and this certainly includes unlawful characteristics such as race, sex, national origin, sexual preference, religion, etc. John Locke and many after him have argued that people have natural rights to life, liberty, and property or the pursuit of happiness. In this view, law should be confined to protecting these rights and be limited to prohibiting other people from transgressing those rights. The law should not hinder an employer’s ability to discriminate, any more than it should compel people to marry against their wishes. These laws generally emerge from a moral perspective that people think should be imposed on everyone else. But those who don’t welcome those morals are in effect being coerced to abide by them against their will; this is unethical. Finally, it will be argued that the free market has mechanisms by which discrimination will, be rendered powerless to harm its victims.


Discrimination Rights Free association 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Joseph A. Butt, S. J. College of BusinessLoyola University New OrleansNew OrleansUSA

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