Top Ten Tips on Recognizing and Preventing Illegal Employment Discrimination

Article excerpt

Discrimination in the workplace is a common problem. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission handles between 75,000 and 80,000 employment discrimination claims each year. A discriminatory work environment can be extremely damaging. Not only can it lead to decreased productivity and lower morale, but resulting lawsuits can also be detrimental to it company's reputation, business relationships. and financial wellbeing. Furthermore, defending discrimination lawsuits is expensive, mid judgments can run into the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars.

The following ten tips can help managers prevent illegal discrimination from occurring in the workplace:

1. Treat all employees in an equal and unbiased manner. Never treat certain employees less favorably than others because of their affiliation with a class such as race. religion, ethnicity, gender, age, pregnancy, military service, national origin, or disability.

2. Never retaliate against an employee for filing complaints concerning discrimination. Punishing employees for filing complaints or for cooperating in the investigation of a complaint is illegal.

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

4. Hire, fire, and promote without bias. Employment decisions should always be based on legitimate and legally justifiable reasons-never on personal feelings or bias.

5. Set the example for appropriate behavior. It's important, especially for managers, to set the example for proper conduct in the workplace and to firmly express the organization's intolerance to discriminatory conduct. …