Many employees are facing workplace discrimination on an ongoing basis based on race or color, gender, national origin, religious beliefs, pregnancy, disability, and age. It breaks employees’ morale, destroys office harmony, decreases productivity, and kills company reputation. Most importantly, it could lead to some nasty lawsuit.
Though state law and federal law completely prohibit workplace discrimination, it still prevails in many offices. It proves that the law is not enough to prevent discrimination in the workplace. To prevent discrimination completely, you have to address the issue seriously and develop a comprehensive policy.
What is Workplace Discrimination?
Before talking about the prevention of workplace discrimination, we should define it first. Workplace discrimination is any kind of injustice or unfair or unlawful treatment to employees.
Though the root cause of workplace bullying or harassment and discrimination are similar, don’t confuse one with another. Bullying or harassment means racist, sexist, or offensive remarks where discrimination just simply means unfair treatment.
Steps to Take to Prevent Workplace Discrimination
Establishing an Anti-discrimination Policy
Every company should have a comprehensive anti-discrimination policy, to begin with. If there is no policy, then it will become difficult to deal with issues like this. With a policy in the office, everybody will know what to do if any kind of discrimination occurs.
The policy should have a powerful statement to make it clear that the office has no place for workplace discrimination. It also should contain detailed information about the types of discrimination in the workplace and what are the consequences of different types of discrimination.
Educating Employers and Employees
You may be surprised to know that a lot of workplace discrimination occurs because employers and employees don’t have a clear idea about it. This ignorance causes many irresponsible behaviors in the workplace. There should be a clear guideline about workplace safety, workplace violence, and workplace discrimination. Training is crucial for the newly hired employees about the rules, regulations, and policies of the office.
Documenting everything could be a powerful asset. Some discriminations may lead to legal disputes. You don’t know what documents could be necessary if you have to sort out things in the court. You should note downtime, date, location, witness, and every detail of the incident. And also write down an elaborate description of what occurred.
Communication could be constructive for the employees. You should discuss your day to day problem with your superiors and colleagues. You can gain a lot of support simply by talking to them. They may help you to defend your rights.
Consider Hiring an Attorney
Though any kind of discrimination in the workplace is strictly prohibited, there is always a loophole in the law. Some areas of the law are really complicated. There are still some grey areas in the laws. Hiring a lawyer can help you to get compensation for discrimination.
The Bottom Line
People from different backgrounds and beliefs come together to work in an office. Sometimes, it becomes tough to adjust to keep an harmony. It is one of the common reasons for workplace bullying and workplace discrimination. To reduce it considerably, we will need strong laws against it, strict company policy, employer cooperation, and employee awareness.
Sometimes even our regular office culture could cause some discrimination. We have to keep in mind that we are accustomed to living in a male-dominant society for a long time. So, there could be some unintentional biasing in our work of action. In this case, the right thing to do is to follow the guidelines.
If you face any workplace harassment or discrimination or workplace safety problem, feel free to contact us at any time for legal advice.