The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has enforced federal laws that prohibit discrimination at work because of a personal characteristic. Most employers are aware of these laws and are encouraged to prevent discrimination in a workplace. Failing to curb it can result in an increase in employee turnover and a decrease of productivity and morale. Sometimes, discrimination at work can be taken to court. This means additional cost for defense and higher insurance premiums.
What Are The Types of Discrimination
You might have been discriminated at your job but you are not aware of it. It’s important that you educate yourself with all applicable anti-discrimination laws. To learn them, you can attend a training seminar or review related literature online.
Discrimination in a workplace come in different forms. And every employee is protected from all of them. The law protects the following personal characteristics:
- Gender identity
- Parental status
- Marital Status
- Physical features
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Employment activity
- Industrial activity
- Political activity and belief
- Religious activity and belief
- Expunged homosexual conviction
- Personal connections
How to Prevent Workplace Discrimination
Every business owner should be able to take the necessary steps to preventing discrimination at work. This is one way to develop harmony and cooperation among all the employees. If the owner does not take any actions towards the prevention of discrimination, you can suggest the following:
- Working with an attorney
For starters, you must work with a business attorney who has experience in making discrimination policies. The attorney will help you develop the business’ own discrimination policies and procedures. With these, you can create a comprehensive manual that follows all the federal discrimination laws of the state. Whenever you want to make some changes to the manual, you need to contact the attorney again.
- Reviewing the manual
Once the manual has been created, you need to review it with the management staff. You need to explain the laws, policies, and procedures in a way that everybody understands. Encourage the staff to ask questions. Then, let them sign a form affirming that they’ve attended a discrimination seminar and have understood all points discussed.
- Distributing the manual
After the management has approved the manual, you can start distributing it to the other employees. A training should take place in order to make sure that the employees fully read and understand the manual. All of them should also sign a form that states they’ve taken a discrimination seminar and have completely understood the manual.
- Encouraging cooperation
It’s not enough that you create and distribute the manual. You must also practice the policies you’ve made. Create diverse work departments and groups to encourage equality and improve cooperation among employees.
- Respond to reports
You should have a human resource professional that’s able to handle discrimination complaints. Once a complaint has been lodged, the management staff must act right away. Schedule a meeting that includes the persons involved. If the discriminatory act is proven true, there must be a disciplinary action taken.
Discrimination at a workplace should not be taken lightly. If you see it happen, you must report it to the management right away. If the management does nothing, then you have the right to bring the case to the court.