Workplace discrimination is a very serious offense that can lead to very real and serious consequences for both employees and employers. Nearly everyone in the workforce has gone through basic sexual harassment training, but discrimination and preventing unlawful conduct goes beyond a simple half-hour video.
If you are a business owner or an employee who is concerned about discrimination in the workplace, or if you believe that you have been a victim, get in touch with a discrimination lawyer at the law office of Robert David Baker. Our team has over 30 years of experience working with employment law and we understand what it takes to protect the rights of business owners and employees. Above all, we want everyone to feel safe and protected at their workplace and to ensure that businesses can operate smoothly.
What is Discrimination?
To understand how to prevent discrimination it’s important to understand what it is. According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are prohibited from discriminating against applicants and employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. The same laws that prohibit gender discrimination also prohibit sexual harassment, which is any conduct or sexual advance that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. It can be difficult to determine whether a certain action or conduct was done in violation of the law, but if you have any questions or believe you are a victim, it’s important to consult with a discrimination lawyer as soon as possible.
Preventing Discrimination in the Workplace
Provide Regular Training
All employees should receive regular training on what discrimination is, how to go about filing a report, and what they should do if they are a witness of discriminatory conduct. Human resources often provide bystander training, which teaches employees what to do when they see or overhear discriminatory behavior.
Give Special Training For Management
Reports of discrimination are often handled first through a supervisor, and so they should receive additional training on how to respond to complaints as well as how to promote a safe work environment.
Each complaint of discrimination should be thoroughly documented, including the specifics of what happened and any communication with the people involved, including witnesses. The victim should also receive a report that includes what actions were taken by the employer, any reason for not taking certain actions, and letting them know that they will not be retaliated against for filing the complaint. Even minor offenses should be reported and documented, reducing the risk of it happening again, as well as having a complete history if the same person were to offend again.
Update Anti-Discrimination Policies
Employers should consider hiring a discrimination lawyer to regularly review and update employee handbooks with current anti-discrimination policies, laws, and regulations. This will ensure that the company is protected against liability and that all employees have updated information. A recent update to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes protections for the LGBTQ community, so it’s important to verify that your employee handbooks are accurate and up-to-date.
Creating a safe and fair environment for workers is an essential task of all business owners. If you need help from an experienced and knowledgeable discrimination lawyer, get in touch with the law office of Robert David Baker today.