Legal consequences, such as a lawsuit or an Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC) claim for workplace discrimination harm employers in many ways. This can destroy your reputation, impact your finances and reduce your workforce.
Most employers never intend to violate employee rights, but it can happen accidentally. Promoting a healthy and inclusive workplace culture can reduce your risk of unintentional discrimination, and here are three easy tips for you or your human resources team.
You can and should study employment discrimination, but that does not mean you will comprehend it from an employee’s perspective. Reflect on what you learn to understand how mistreatment may feel to affected workers. Doing so may show your employees that you value their contributions regardless of age, race or any protected characteristic.
Mind your language
Teach yourself and your staff to use inclusive language in all workplace communications. With practice, you and your human resources personnel can avoid accidentally discriminating against protected classes of employees. For example, you can learn how to address groups or individual workers without unintentionally emphasizing gender or age.
Take accessibility seriously
Many employment discrimination claims arise when employers fail to understand the importance of workplace accessibility. Always take requests for disability accommodations seriously and avoid denying them without reason (undue financial hardships, etc.). What seems like an unnecessary change to you could make a big difference to employees.
Achieving a discrimination-free workplace may seem challenging, but it is essential to your business reputation and bottom line. Since California has worker-friendly employment laws, consider learning more about them to reduce or eliminate accidental workplace discrimination.
An employment law representative can enhance your knowledge and offer guidance if a worker makes discrimination allegations against you.