Discrimination in the workplace impacts both the employer and the affected employee alike. To the employer, discrimination can result in lawsuits, high turnover and a damaged reputation. And to the employee, discrimination can result in low morale and strained self-esteem.
Workplace discrimination can be direct when an employee or a potential employee is treated differently. An example of direct discrimination would be refusing to hire someone because of their gender or sexual orientation. It can also be indirect such as when the organization comes up with a dress code policy that is against certain employees’ faith.
Workplace discrimination in any form is illegal. But, while this vice is rampant in most organizations, the good news is employers can take certain steps to root out this vice. Here are some of these steps:
Develop an organization-specific employee handbook
It is not uncommon for an organization to rely on the EEOC-written anti-discrimination laws. However, it is important to understand that every organization is unique. As such, including an organization-specific anti-discrimination policy in the employee handbook can go a long way in addressing issues that are unique to the organization. The policy should include information on procedures for reporting and investigating incidents of workplace discrimination.
Conduct organization-wide training on discrimination
It is one thing having a great anti-discriminatory policy and a totally different story getting your employees to learn and understand its content. This is why it is important that you routinely train your employees on workplace discrimination. The training should cover what state and federal laws consider discrimination as well as how to detect and report the vice.
Eliminate bias during the hiring process
Workplace discrimination can start right at the hiring process. It is important that the organization has a clear policy on the recruitment process. The hiring officers should undergo regular training on best interview and recruitment practices to prevent cases of bias during the recruitment process.
No one deserves to work in a hostile and discriminating work environment. Find out how can create a safe and discrimination-free work environment for your workforce.