Discrimination in the workplace is something that happens quite often. Many employees are discriminated against based on their gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, and various other aspects. When a worker is treated so badly, it can cause them great amounts of stress and lower their performance. In some cases, it may even make them refuse to show up to work.
Nobody deserves to experience discrimination, and if you are an employer, you should always take measures to prevent such things in the workplace and ensure your workers stay happy and confident. Not everyone knows what discrimination looks like in a workplace, and this could lead to even more incidents of the sort.
So, here are a few ways to prevent discrimination in the workplace and make sure your employees can be happy and productive:
1. Educate All Employees
Employers should conduct training programs where they train their workers on how to avoid discrimination. Everyone should understand what discrimination looks like and why it’s wrong, but also that such behaviors will be sanctioned accordingly.
Such training programs should take place regularly. In fact, there are even a few states where employers are required by federal law to conduct regular training programs that are anti-harassment and anti-discriminatory.
Ideally, this program will tell employees what discrimination means and will give them some examples of discrimination in the workplace. People should know about what discrimination could potentially lead to (such as lawsuits), but also be aware that discrimination could affect the employees in the long term.
Furthermore, workers should know where and how to file a complaint if they are ever victims of discrimination. Make sure to establish through this training program that any complaint will be taken seriously and that anyone who ever discriminates against others will face consequences.
Supervisors and managers should also receive separate training as they are the ones who will defend workers against discrimination alongside you.
2. Have a Written Policy
You should implement a work policy that clearly states that your workplace doesn’t tolerate discrimination and that this would be punished. Although a lot of companies will use the federal employment discrimination laws, these are not the only ones you should rely on. It’s important to have your own written policy which states that discrimination is not tolerated. The employee handbook should also include this information.
In the policy, employees should be encouraged to talk about whether they were discriminated against or not and file complaints. Also, they should be reassured that an investigation will start after their complaint and that such behaviors from others will always be sanctioned. This will keep them motivated and productive.
3. Always Give Sanctions and Investigate
Anyone who engages in discrimination in the workplace would stop if they saw that the company takes it seriously. While they may not care how they treat others, they care about their job and making a living, and they won’t want to lose it if it’ll be hard for them to find another high-paying position.
In order to make this possible, you must always investigate discrimination complaints and give sanctions where someone is found guilty. Take everything seriously and apply penalties – thus, you can discourage discrimination from ever occurring again.
4. Always Be Aware of the Anti-Discrimination Laws
Every area will have its own laws regarding discrimination. That being said, your state may view discrimination differently compared to another state. This is why you should be familiar with these laws so you can always implement them properly when it comes to your workplace.
You should be aware that the laws can be different at state, federal, and city levels, and you need to understand all these in order to make your company a safe place for the workers. You may want to talk to an employment lawyer to make this easier, as he or she knows the laws in the area and will be able to help you.
5. Be an Example for the Others
Anti-discriminatory laws will only work if you follow them yourself. When an employer doesn’t treat certain employees right due to their religion, race, sexual orientation, age, gender, or a different aspect, the other employees will feel encouraged to do the same.
As the owner of the company, you should always be an example to others. Treat everyone right no matter who they are, and make sure to treat employees equally.
For example, ensure everyone who works a certain position receives the same income. Therefore, don’t give men and women different pay due to their gender. There is still a huge gap when it comes to gender pay, even though Massachusetts was the first U.S. state that adopted a law for equal pay in 1945. Without equal pay, workers could hire Worcester equal pay violations lawyers to help them sue you.
Discrimination is never right, and it shouldn’t happen at work. Make sure to implement strict policies and to train your employees so no worker ends up being discriminated against.
Edited and approved.
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