Reverse Discrimination Law and Legal Definition

Reverse discrimination describes policies or habits of social discrimination against members of a historically dominant group with an implication of unfairness. Sometimes reverse discrimination can result from affirmative action policies created to decrease discrimination in the workplace against minority employees. In many democratic societies, the dominant group is in the majority, and the disadvantaged is in the minority. It refers to any negative impact that affirmative action may have on whites, which is seen as equivalent to the illegal discrimination that has been faced by people of color and women for centuries. Reverse discrimination is sometimes considered synonymous with the term affirmative action. Critics of affirmative action claim that it decreases the proportion of opportunities within the society available to members of the traditionally dominant group in comparison with their historical level of opportunities.

Most forms of reverse discrimination are now illegal in most countries, however in some countries, like the U.S, affirmative action assisting minorities is required by law. In other countries affirmative action is considered reverse discrimination, and therefore illegal.