7 Tips for Small Businesses to Prevent Workplace Discrimination

There are numerous ways in which workplace discrimination can occur. These include harassment or mistreatment based on religion, race, national origin, gender and the like. Employers who fail to enact preventive practices to keep such scenarios from happening may end up with a work environment that makes employees uneasy and leaves the company vulnerable to litigation.

All business owners are urged to take some key measures to keep discrimination from rearing its head and to build an atmosphere of collaboration and acceptance for all in the workplace.

Tip #1

A wise method of addressing such risks head-on is to consult with a business lawyer who is well-versed in anti-discrimination employee policies. Developing a handbook for employees that provides instruction on such matters can make a big difference in thwarting problems in the first place. These manuals need to take a comprehensive approach, covering all relevant federal and state discrimination rules and regulations. These policies and manuals should be formally reviewed for needed revisions at regular intervals.

 Tip #2

This type of manual should be reviewed with management personnel so that the company’s discrimination policies are thoroughly explained. Management should be encouraged to ask questions and also required to sign acknowledgement forms stating that they fully understand the firm’s policies.

Tip #3

Ensure that every employee also reviews the company’s discrimination policy manual. They should also be required to attend training sessions each quarter so that they are fully educated about discrimination matters. Employees should also sign acknowledgement forms indicating that they have been trained and understand the rules.

Tip #4

Always find ways to facilitate equality and collaborative effort on the job by working to develop departments and units that are diverse in composition.

Tip #5

Establish a channel for employee reporting of discrimination to their human resources staff. Hiring a professional who is trained in navigating discrimination matters is a great way to keep problems from escalating.

Tip #6

When a discrimination complaint emerges, the managers of those involved should be notified that their staffers will need to provide an answer to the allegation. A conference should take place between the manager, the employee accused of involvement and the human resources representative.

Tip #7

Disciplinary determinations should be made promptly in cases involving discrimination, and a record of such should be kept in the employee’s personnel file.

 

Final Advice

Underscore to managers the importance of cracking down on workplace discrimination. Quick, proactive steps on the part of management can reduce incidents of this sort to a great degree, perhaps even more so than the promulgation of broader corporate policies.

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