Discrimination in the workplace can come in many forms, including sexual harassment, race, religion and ethnic discrimination. When an employer does not take the proper steps to prevent discrimination in the workplace, the atmosphere at the company can be uncomfortable and the employer could be liable for a discrimination lawsuit. Every small business owner should take the necessary steps to prevent discrimination in the workplace, and encourage harmony and cooperation among the employees.
Work with an business attorney with experience in discrimination policies to develop a discrimination policies and procedures manual for all employees. Make the manual as comprehensive as possible, follows all state and federal discrimination laws, and work with the attorney once a quarter to make any appropriate changes.
Review the manual with the management staff, and explain the company policies regarding discrimination to all managers. Encourage managers to ask any questions, and have all managers sign a form saying they took the discrimination training and they understood it.
Related Reading: How to Correct Subtle Discrimination in the Workplace
Require all employees to review the discrimination policies and procedures manual, and attend a mandatory quarterly training on discrimination in the workplace. Have every employee sign a form stating that they took the discrimination training and understand it.
Encourage cooperation and equality in the workplace by creating diverse work groups and departments throughout the company.
Set up a way that employees can report discrimination to a human resources professional. It is helpful to have a human resources professional that is experienced in handling discrimination complaints, as they require a level of candidness that other human resources issues do not require.
Alert managers of the employees mentioned in discrimination complaints that their employee will have to answer the complaint. Schedule a meeting that includes the manager, the human resources representative and the accused employee.
Make a quick decision on disciplinary action to be taken on discrimination complaints, and make a note of the episode in the employees file.