Mental Gymnasium I


This follows from a conversation I had with a civil servant last night. I am taking her description of UK equal opportunities legislation as fact, but note that I am not a lawyer and neither is she.

Imagine I am the manager of a team of five people. They are all doing the same job and have the same amount of experience and are the same age and are equally productive by all objective measures. However, I do not pay them the same amount as each other, in fact they all get paid different amounts.

I pay each of them as little as I can to retain their services because I want to keep my organisation as profitable as possible. The lowest paid of the five is paid the least because he has no idea of his market value and will work for peanuts. The highest paid has potential to be senior management in time and knows it. I reward him highly because I want to be sure of keeping him.

Let us say the middle one of the five (when ranked by pay) is a member of a social group that is protected by law from discrimination. A woman, for example. All the others are able-bodied white males. I treat them all as individuals and do not discriminate on irrelevant grounds.

If my civil servant friend is correct, four out of the five team members can sue me under UK equal opportunities legislation. I leave it as a mental exercise for the reader to work out which one does not have grounds for suing me.

If they were all able-bodied white males then nobody could sue me.

Can this be true? If true, is it just?

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