Workforce.com

Preventing Illegal Employment Discrimination

December 24, 2000
A discriminatory work environment can be extremely damaging. Not only can itlead to decreased productivity and lower morale, but it can result in lawsuitsthat are detrimental to the company’s reputation and financial well-being.Judgments can run into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.Here then are five tips that can help you prevent illegal discrimination fromoccurring in your workplace.

Never retaliate against an employee for filing complaints concerningdiscrimination.
Punishing employees for filing complaints or for cooperatingin an investigation of a complaint is illegal.


Eliminate any illegal screening practices.
Illegal discrimination can often occur when an organization’s policies oremployment testing have an unfair and negative impact on a protected class.


Set the example for appropriate behavior.
It’s important for HRmanagers to set the example for proper conduct in the workplace. Performingevery aspect of your job in a fair and impartial manner will continuouslyreinforce these sentiments.


Never ignore inappropriate behavior.
Take immediate action against anydiscriminatory conduct -- no matter how minor it may seem. By ignoring suchbehavior, you appear to be condoning it.


Involve employees.
Share the responsibility of maintaining adiscrimination-free workplace with employees. You can encourage theirinvolvement by being available to hear grievances.

SOURCE: Corpedia Training Technologies, a Mesa, Arizona-based company thatoffers computer-based training products in legal basics, management, personaland communication skills, and workplace safety.

Workforce, November 1999, Vol. 78, No. 11, p. 28 -- Subscribenow!