Most business owners and managers are aware that it’s expected of them to prevent discrimination against employees in the workplace. Failing to do so doesn’t just often result in losing good employees and poor performances, but it can even drive up your insurance, and require paying legal costs should things escalate to litigation.
Therefore, it crucial for employers to ensure that discrimination is eliminated from the workplace. Take a look at some of the best ways to ensure it doesn’t happen in your company.
Familiarize Yourself With The Laws
Employers should have a solid understanding of what the applicable discrimination laws are. Rather than mistakenly believing that it could never happen in your business, do your research and make sure you keep your work environment a safe place.
Discrimination in the workplace isn’t as simple as you may think. There are a variety of ways which people may be exhibiting discrimination which they aren’t even aware of.
Anti-discrimination laws shouldn’t just be followed on a federal level but also on a local level. Your local laws may have additional protection for employees beyond federal laws. From breastfeeding women to people with varying sexual orientations, different gender identity and expression, and even military status.
How do you stay up to date with these laws as an employer? You can attend seminars and invite antidiscrimination representatives to ensure that you’re staying up to date with the latest literature. You should read the fine print carefully to make sure you know you’re following what’s expected of you.
Set Clear Rules
Once you’ve ensured that you’ve got a solid understanding of the anti-discrimination laws on a local and federal level, the next step is to create a strict set of rules for your staff. Creating a policy will ensure there’s no gray area and everyone knows what’s expected of them.
When you set specific ground rules, there’s no way to confuse what’s appropriate or inappropriate. An employer can look at a certain employee’s behavior and determine clearly whether it’s tolerable or grounds for termination. Any policy that you put into action should be very clear and easy to understand.
Conduct a Training Program
Conducting a training program which educates employees on what is acceptable and unacceptable conduct in a professional setting isn’t only helpful, it’s often required depending on your local laws.
Setting the rules straight in an official training program ensures that employees can’t claim ignorance of the rules should they be terminated for violating policies.
Investigate Employee Complaints
As soon as there is a complaint or suspicion of employee discrimination, it’s essential that a thorough investigation is launched immediately. As an employer, it’s your legal responsibility to provide a safe and respectful working environment.