In recent years, a minority group that has become increasingly vocal is the group comprised of disabled people. When the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, supported argued that
- There are almost 45million disabled Americans; and
- The rest of the Americans might think of themselves as “temporarily abled.”
According to this way of looking at it them, almost everyone could at some point be disabled. This is a new way of looking at it then, almost everyone could at some point be disabled. This is a new way of looking at disabilities with some important implications for HR management practices.
Over the next decade, the racial profile of the American work force will change dramatically. African-Americans, Native Americans, Asians, and Hispanics will make up a larger share of the work force than ever before. Between 1990 and 2000, they will contribute 20 percent to the new work force. By the way, “Hispanic” identifies a group comprised of a number of nationalities and ethnicities of Hispanic origin – including persons from Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the countries of Central and South America and the Dominican Republic. By far the largest nationality in this category hails from Mexico, which accounts for 63 percent of all Hispanics in the U.S. labor force.
Thus, while America has always been a land of immigrants, it was also thought to be a “melting pot,” where differences in background would disappear. Today, many individual differences are recognized by law and society as being very important. Consequently, we see many employment laws (which we will cover in other chapters) that deal with diversity and a much larger concern in both society and business for understanding and managing it.