Workplace Discrimination: A Big Sensitive Compliance Risk
Employers and supervisors face potential liability for workplace discrimination claims in almost every stage of employment interaction. Discrimination is a significant area of legal exposure that every employer and supervisors should avoid as much as possible. It is unfair and illegal to practice discrimination when hiring, firing, promoting, disciplining, or providing privileges to your workers. For instance, it’ll be unfair to provide quality, CE accredited fabrications to your permanent employees and uncertified and unsafe equipment to your temporary staff. Government laws against discriminatory employment discourage employers from basing their employment decisions on anything other than the abilities and qualifications of an individual. They are also not to apply different standards to different individuals – nor apply the same standards differently.
The law protects workers and job candidates against discrimination based on age, disability, race, or gender. An individual should not be denied employment or promotion because they are young or old, suffers a mental or physical disability, is from a different race or religion, or is of a different gender. Everyone should be given similar chances provided they are qualified and have the relevant abilities and skills to get the job done.
How Do You Minimise Risk of Discriminatory Employment?
For you to minimise the risk of discrimination at your workplace, you should understand the legal basics and apply the following preventative measures during all your employment interactions.
- Create and Enforce Appropriate Policies
Your workplace should have policies in place that prohibit discrimination, retaliation, and harassment and the procedures employees can follow to report any alleged acts. You can distribute the policies to your workforce through handbooks, newsletters, or posters in various parts of the workplace.
- Provide Proper Training
Workers should attend non-discrimination training to learn about the different behaviours prohibited and the right channels to follow when reporting any discrimination cases. Supervisors and managers also need to be properly trained on how to exercise prompt and appropriate responses to questions and complaints regarding discrimination.
- Provide Relevant Accommodations as Needed
You may have workers with disabilities or of a particular religion in your workplace who are entitled to reasonable accommodation. When they face you with an accommodation request, you should be willing to engage in the interactive process to reach a mutual solution.
- Post Required Notices On-Site
You should exercise compliance with notice posting requirements when informing your workers about their rights.
- Create an Internal Complaint Mechanism
Do you have a platform where workers can raise their concerns internally and allow you to address them before escalating to an outside body? Ensure you have an active program to address different discrimination issues affecting your workforce internally before they escalate.
- Respond to the Complaints Promptly
A prompt and appropriate response to internal complaints is vital to a successful defense. You should interview both the complaining and the accused workers once a complaint has been brought forward. Ensure to document every element of the interview and your findings. These will be incorporated into a detailed investigation report, ultimately.
- Promote and Document Compliance
Promoting compliance assures your workforce that you care about them and their well-being. You’ll need to retain all prevention efforts such as training, acknowledgements, and policies. Make sure to also keep copies of worker complaints, respective responses, and investigation files for future reference.