6 Terrible Acts of Workplace Discrimination and How to Avoid It

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Workplace discrimination brings down the morale of your workers as well as helps to label your company as one not to work for in your industry. While it may be normal to favor some workers over others, you don’t want that to manifest itself in ways that stunt productivity or limit the talent pool willing to work at your firm. What are some acts of workplace discrimination that you should avoid at all costs?

Sexual Harassment Is More Common Than You Think
In a survey, more than 30 percent of women said that they had been sexually harassed at the workplace. Alarmingly, it seems as if this type of hostile behavior occurs in a almost all industries, which means it may be happening at your company with or without your tacit knowledge or approval. To stop this from happening, make sure that you have a comprehensive policy that allows workers to spot and report such behavior without fear of reprisal in the future.

Singling People Out for Disabilities Is Unethical
Those who have disabilities can perform just as well for your company as anyone else if given the tools to do their jobs. Avoid harassment of the disabled by talking more about the good attributes that those with disabilities bring to the workplace such as their tendency to work harder than others and ability to empathize with others. You may even want to talk about your own shortcomings to convince others that anyone could have a disability and still succeed despite it.

Never Judge People By Their Race
According to DiversityInc, it is illegal to fire, fail to promote or otherwise single people out for their race. It is also illegal to do anything that would impact one race over the other even if the policy applies to everyone in the company. While you don’t need a quota system, you should make sure that there are programs available to develop those who may be overlooked within the company. This helps to ensure that the best people get promoted no matter who they are or what they look like.

Judge People on Merit Regardless of Age
Some companies fail to see the value in those who haven’t graduated from college yet or those who are old enough to retire. However, younger workers are the future of your company and provide enthusiasm that your organization needs to avoid becoming stale. Older workers bring a wealth of experience that may be beneficial during tough economic times that you haven’t personally gone through as a business owner. Age discrimination can be avoided by judging people on skills as opposed to how much they cost. This may help put younger or older workers in positions where they can succeed and benefit the company.

Gender Shouldn’t Play a Role in Workplace Decisions
No matter whether you are a man or a woman, your hiring decisions should not be swayed by gender. A man is just as good as a woman caring for kids or working as a nurse while a woman is just as good in a factory setting or coaching a youth sports team as a man. Ideally, you will judge the skill set as opposed to the gender of the worker, and institute a policy that pays workers equally for doing the same job.

Religious Beliefs Shouldn’t Play a Role in Workplace Relations
It is critical that you don’t discriminate against someone specifically because of his or her religious beliefs. If possible, celebrate as many different holidays as you can throughout the year in an objective manner to ensure that all of your employees feel like they matter. Additionally, make sure that you allow your workers to wear head gear or take time off if necessary to comply with their sincerely held religious beliefs even if it goes against company policy in general.

Running a company means that you will meet a diverse set of people. While you don’t have to like everyone who works for you, it is in your best interest to keep those who do the best job for the company. Doing so regardless of what they look like or what they believe will create a strong organization where everyone feels compelled to do their best.