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Discrimination at work, common?

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iamsen
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Postby iamsen » Tue, 26 Feb 2013 4:14 pm

I like to be fair with regard to benefits for my employees, regardless of their nationality/whatever arbitrary category there is. If the law defines a minimum set of benefits for a particular group of employees, I set that as the minimum for ALL my employees.

Now, I have less than 10 employees so maybe any perceived costs/savings aren't significant enough for me to feel any impact, but I think the us vs them mindset as shown by dpot is reason enough for me to do my best to avoid such a situation from even arising.

Wage and additional perks are irrelevant as those are based on skills, performances and how good of a negotiator you are. The point of this thread is about fair treatment for employees.

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Postby dpot » Tue, 26 Feb 2013 9:37 pm

interesting responses--thanks everyone. in the us and uk, it is absolutely illegal to give different benefits to people based solely upon their race, religion, gender, nation of origin, or citizenship. having lived and worked in both regions, i appreciate this and took it for granted that other developed countries had the same outlook.

when it comes to salary, i think that differences in compensation do not always equal discrimination (sometimes they do, though!), but reflect whatever both parties are willing to give in consideration for the work done. i rejected the first offer in the first contract a couple years ago and walked away because the figure was too low...they met my counteroffer and so i signed on. so, they tried to lowball--par for the course--and i called their bluff and won. now we had an agreement based upon mutual consideration. i'm not sure what my colleagues do with their offers--i get the sense that some local bosses aren't used to hearing 'no'.
anyway, i'm definitely in the minority at the org, 90-95% of the staff are locals...there is only one sc that is even close to my background (that doesn't sound very humble, but it is a fact)...i don't know what this person makes or whether they negotiate their salary. i don't think it is discrimination to be paid differently based upon experience; but this isn't about pay, it is about equal benefits. it isn't a petty thing either, we don't have a maid, we don't have family, we both work and it isn't always possible for my wife to take off when our 3 yr old is sick...so i have to take vacation days, which kinda sucks.

either way, the whole thing has been a good learning experience, and i have realized that i don't really want to work in a setting where this sort of thing goes on, which is why, instead of just whining about it, i refused to sign the contract in protest. life is too short...they are free to set their benefits, and i'm free not to work there. do correct me if i am wrong, but it seems that sg has no discrimination laws when it comes to employment; if true, i think that is a pity.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 26 Feb 2013 10:29 pm

I would suggest you think about packing your bags and heading back to your western country. There are NO employment laws against discrimination in Singapore. Only best practices, but you have no recourse except to walk if they don't want to negotiate. They don't have to as they are not in violation of any laws, moral or otherwise. Which is apparently what you will end up doing if you continue trying to force a company in Asia (western MNC or not) to tow the Western culture/laws mark. You have to park what you were used to, from the moment you step off the airplane.

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Postby movingtospore » Wed, 27 Feb 2013 9:23 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:I would suggest you think about packing your bags and heading back to your western country. There are NO employment laws against discrimination in Singapore. Only best practices, but you have no recourse except to walk if they don't want to negotiate. They don't have to as they are not in violation of any laws, moral or otherwise. Which is apparently what you will end up doing if you continue trying to force a company in Asia (western MNC or not) to tow the Western culture/laws mark. You have to park what you were used to, from the moment you step off the airplane.


SMS is right. Don't get me wrong, I'm a regular whinger on this board about things like this, but SMS is right. Your first mistake was in thinking that they give a rat's a$$ about you and your values. They don't. You're a temporary import here to do a job and then, hopefully, leave. That's it. Don't ever forget that as it's fundamental to how S'poreans understand the world, right or wrong (hence the people who will stay on EP forever rather than convert to PR as per other posts). I don't think they even understand the western concept of discrimination as their entire system is predicated on race, and it's much more nuanced than most westerners realize - just based on a different set of values. But that's another discussion.

I absolutely appreciate your frustration and annoyance but this is not your country. These days, I'm not sure it's even a fully-baked society - they're going through a pretty tough time right now. So the odd expat who wants the same # days off as a local isn't too high on the agenda. If you walked away from this job just for that - hope you don't need another one as they aren't too fond of foreigners right now. :-|

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dpot
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Postby dpot » Thu, 28 Feb 2013 1:18 am

it was a good learning experience and that i now have empirical evidence for why i have no interest in working there anymore. i already walked away from the contract, and no, i don't need the money. i just found the whole situation to be odd....spend thousands of dollars recruiting me, paying for travel, shipping, etc, and then, dig their heels in over a few days off.

anyway, my poor sc counterparts, however, just keep their mouths shut, act grateful when they get a new contract, and continue to work (or pretend to work) way more hours than they should.

anyway, i hope the thread acts as a reference point for others thinking about working here for a local org.

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Postby beppi » Thu, 28 Feb 2013 7:02 am

The company gives everybody 3 days child care leave.
The government gives (pays for) another 3 days to SC and PRs, but not foreigners.
Thus the company does not discriminate, but is equal and fair.
You might call the goverment discriminatory, but that will achieve nothing.
(Similar preference of government benefits for locals exists in Europe, too!)

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Postby ecureilx » Thu, 28 Feb 2013 9:08 am

dpot wrote:it was a good learning experience and that i now have empirical evidence for why i have no interest in working there anymore. i already walked away from the contract, and no, i don't need the money. i just found the whole situation to be odd....spend thousands of dollars recruiting me, paying for travel, shipping, etc, and then, dig their heels in over a few days off. ...


Now if only more of your likes were around here ..

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Postby iamsen » Thu, 28 Feb 2013 10:33 am

beppi wrote:(Similar preference of government benefits for locals exists in Europe, too!)


And good, forward thinking companies will pay out of their pockets to provide the non-locals/discriminated gorup with the same benefits. Locale is not an excuse to be an asshole.

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Postby Jeppo » Thu, 28 Feb 2013 3:26 pm

dpot wrote:spend thousands of dollars recruiting me, paying for travel, shipping, etc, and then, dig their heels in over a few days off.


What about the other side? Didn't you uproot your family, take them away from friends and family (and Job?) and then dig in your heels over a few days off?

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Postby beppi » Thu, 28 Feb 2013 3:31 pm

iamsen wrote:
beppi wrote:(Similar preference of government benefits for locals exists in Europe, too!)


And good, forward thinking companies will pay out of their pockets to provide the non-locals/discriminated gorup with the same benefits. Locale is not an excuse to be an asshole.

So, you find it o.k. For an employer to differentiate benefits based on what an employee receives from other sources?
Then how about giving more days off to people who are less sick, or paying less salary to those who already have money???
I don't think that's o.k.!

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ecureilx
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Postby ecureilx » Thu, 28 Feb 2013 4:59 pm

Jeppo wrote:
dpot wrote:spend thousands of dollars recruiting me, paying for travel, shipping, etc, and then, dig their heels in over a few days off.


What about the other side? Didn't you uproot your family, take them away from friends and family (and Job?) and then dig in your heels over a few days off?


+1

beppi wrote:
iamsen wrote:
beppi wrote:(Similar preference of government benefits for locals exists in Europe, too!)


And good, forward thinking companies will pay out of their pockets to provide the non-locals/discriminated gorup with the same benefits. Locale is not an excuse to be an asshole.

So, you find it o.k. For an employer to differentiate benefits based on what an employee receives from other sources?
Then how about giving more days off to people who are less sick, or paying less salary to those who already have money???
I don't think that's o.k.!


++1 !!!!

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Postby iamsen » Thu, 28 Feb 2013 5:11 pm

beppi wrote:So, you find it o.k. For an employer to differentiate benefits based on what an employee receives from other sources?
Then how about giving more days off to people who are less sick, or paying less salary to those who already have money???
I don't think that's o.k.!


Apples and oranges.

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Postby beppi » Thu, 28 Feb 2013 5:21 pm

iamsen wrote:Apples and oranges.

Care to explain?
(because me and ecureilx think apple to apple ...)

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Postby iamsen » Thu, 28 Feb 2013 11:08 pm

Compensation is tied to performance. The better you perform, the better you get paid. Plain and simple.


Basic benefits/entitlements like number of days of paid vacation, paternity/maternity leave, sick days are provided because you are a human being, just like that person over there.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 28 Feb 2013 11:24 pm

So, therefore, one should not get additional days off with tenure? The longer they are there, the more human you are? :P


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