Here are a few factors we suggest when we’re working with a business leader to establish a plan for preventing workplace discrimination:
1. Develop a written policy that defines rules and procedures.
Creating a clearly-written policy is the first step toward preventing discrimination at work. This is just one of the reasons it is important to develop an employee handbook. Every handbook should include a policy on discrimination that every employee receives and signs an acknowledgment of receipt. Your policy should cover a broad range of potential discriminatory acts and include a protocol that outlines how discrimination complaints are submitted, handled, and resolved.
2. Establish a consistent process for resolving discrimination issues.
Resolving issues quickly and fairly is incredibly important—even if your business isn’t in legal jeopardy, a lingering workplace discrimination issue can lead to losing trust and credibility with your employees. Consistency in how you address and resolve issues shows that you expect everyone to be treated fairly and by the same standards regarding discrimination. While there is no single “right” procedure for workplace discrimination, it’s important to establish a process that fits your organization’s size, structure, and resources.
3. Continually educate employees on their role in preventing discrimination.
For most businesses, addressing the issue in the employee handbook and onboarding process isn’t enough. Some state laws require employers to regularly conduct anti-discrimination training programs. Whether you’re required by law or you want to be more proactive about avoiding discrimination, it’s important to ensure that employees are aware of your policies and procedures and know how to report allegations. It’s also recommended that you conduct a separate or enhanced program for supervisory or managerial employees, as they are often your first line of defense in preventing workplace discrimination.
Our Team at LBMC Employment Partners is Here to Help
At LBMC Employment Partners, helping our clients prevent workplace discrimination and address any potential issues are things we take very seriously. Whether you’re looking to develop a formal written policy, or you want to protect yourself against discrimination lawsuits, our team is here to help. Connect with our team today to learn how we can help you prevent and address potential discrimination issues in the work environment.