Steps employers can take to reduce workplace discrimination

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2020 | Employment Law |

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission processed a total of 72,675 workplace discrimination complaints in fiscal year 2019. This figure illustrates the extent that discriminatory attitudes and practices affect workplaces. In the interest of preventing costly legal cases and sparing workers from illegal abuses, employers in Delaware can adopt strategies that encourage people to report discrimination and harassment.

By creating a culture of accountability, owners and managers could help employees feel safe about expressing their concerns about discriminatory conduct. A survey conducted by Randstad found that about 50% of workers said or did nothing after witnessing someone make inappropriate comments toward opposite-sex co-workers. A culture of accountability could overcome this reluctance by making the method for reporting harassment and discrimination clear in employee handbooks.

Preventative training could stop discrimination before it happens. Employers that clearly communicate their policies give all staff members a chance to understand what is acceptable and unacceptable. Special training for employees and managers that directly addresses biases also creates opportunities for people to recognize their prejudices and consciously avoid potentially negative behavior.

Although the EEOC has reported that complaint numbers dropped in 2019, the problem of workplace discrimination is far from disappearing. Retaliation against employees who made complaints remains an ongoing issue for most victims of harassment and discrimination according to the EEOC. For this reason, a person needs to proceed carefully when standing up for workplace rights, and legal advice has the potential to improve a person’s position in a discrimination or sexual harassment case. An attorney might assist in gathering concrete evidence about mistreatment and document it for a formal legal complaint. Legal advice during mediation or arbitration of the issue may also enable a person to weigh the pros and cons of a settlement offer before accepting or rejecting it.