If you want to create a productive work environment, you have to make sure to eliminate both harassment and discrimination. There are a lot of laws in place protecting employees from discrimination due to race, gender, sexual orientation and a number of other characteristics. If your company violates these laws, you can open yourself up to costly lawsuits. In order to avoid these lawsuits, you have to learn more about discrimination and harassment.
Use this quick guide to ensure that your business avoids discrimination and harassment. Learn more about a few specific types of discrimination, how you can prevent this in your company, and how you can handle discrimination or harassment complaints.
Types of Discrimination
There are a lot of different ways and a lot of different reasons that someone can be discriminated against. A refusal to hire, inconsistent disciplinary actions, termination, denial of training, demotion and harassment can all be a type of discrimination. If you take any sort of actions or refuse to take actions due to someone’s race, national origin, gender or religion, you are discriminating against that person. Here are a few specific types of discrimination that can occur in the workplace:
- Age: Some employers refuse to hire employees over a certain age or try to force older employees into retirement.
- Disability: Employers may refuse to hire someone due to a disability or create policies that keep that person from fitting in at the workplace.
- Equal Pay: In some companies, men and women doing the same type of work get paid drastically different amounts.
- National Origin: Employers cannot refuse to hire someone solely on the basis that the person appears to be foreign.
It is important that you are familiar with different types of discrimination so you can do your best to avoid the practice in your company.
Now that you’re more familiar with a few different kinds of discrimination, you have to figure out what you can do to prevent it from taking place in your company. Putting anti-discrimination policies in place inside your organization is one of the best ways to prevent discrimination and harassment. Consider taking these steps to make sure you squash any workplace harassment or discrimination:
- Work with a business attorney to create a discrimination and harassment policies and procedures manual for all employees.
- Review the manual with management staff and all other employees.
- Encourage equality by promoting diverse work groups.
- Form a diversity and equality committee to focus on ways to increase diversity and equality.
- Make reporting discrimination and harassment easy.
- Have a clear punishment set up for those who engage in negative types of actions.
If you really want to prevent negative actions in your business, you have to be willing to create guidelines and then stick with them. In other words, you need to be willing to do some research and educate your employees on your company’s specific policies and the laws of the country and state.
What should you do if an employee feels discriminated against or harassed? You need to investigate the accusations. If you want employees to feel comfortable at work, you have to make it easy for them to be heard and let them see the results of their complaints. Take these actions if an employee files either a harassment or discrimination complaint:
- Listen to the accusations.
- Seriously, promptly and thoroughly investigate the complaint.
- Take no steps of retaliation against the accuser.
- Keep the complaint confidential.
- Hire a third party to conduct the investigation if necessary.
- Discipline the guilty party.
By taking these steps, you are showing your employees how seriously you take discrimination and harassment. If you act quickly and decisively, other employees are less likely to follow in the footsteps of the guilty party.
Educate yourself so you can educate your employees. Learn how you can stop discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
The content on our website is only meant to provide general information and is not legal advice. We make our best efforts to make sure the information is accurate, but we cannot guarantee it. Do not rely on the content as legal advice. For assistance with legal problems or for a legal inquiry please contact you attorney.