Are Anti Discrimination Laws Good For Business?
Anti discrimination laws were originally developed to protect employees but they are a tremendous benefit to businesses that adhere to them in so many great ways! The number one reason is that an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment creates a workplace where employees trust each other which in turn increases everything from attendance to productivity.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964, otherwise known as Title VII prohibits sexual discrimination, racial discrimination, religious discrimination, and discrimination based on color or national origin.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 protects employees forty or over and prohibits age discrimination.
The Equal Pay Act developed in 1963 protects both men and women who do the same work in the same organization from wage discrimination based on their sex.
The American with Disabilities Act developed in 1990 prohibits discrimination based on a person’s disability both in the private sector and state and local governments.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has been tasked with overseeing these anti discrimination laws. Any time I have been contacted by the EEOC to answer a claim of discrimination or harassment they have always been extremely fair. The number one thing that will help any company who is undergoing a claim of discrimination is training and taking immediate action against any sign of discrimination in the workplace. Remember that claiming that you didn’t know it was taking place is no excuse. The law states that any company that knew or should have know that discrimination or harassment was taking place will be held liable.
Sexual discrimination or sexual harassment is a very hot topic in the workplace today and should be taken very serious. Protecting your employees from sexual harassment or discrimination will gain you the respect that pays huge dividends. There is no question that poor attendance is directly related to employees being dissatisfied for some reason. Poor productivity can be attributed to many things but employees that are discriminated or harassed will definitely not perform well. These all cost you money.
One of the best methods to help eliminate discrimination or harassment in the workplace and comply with all the anti discrimination laws is to conduct training classes on a regular basis. In addition, an organization must continue to create an environment where employees know that any form of discrimination or harassment will not be tolerated. This is done by investigating any report of discrimination or harassment immediately and if the report is found to be true taking the appropriate action.
Training should begin on the very first day of employment and continue on a regular basis thereafter. Training should not only define what all types of discrimination and harassment but what the consequences are if they are violated. The important thing to remember here is that you can do all the training in the world but if the organization doesn’t follow through with what they say it will lose respect. The old saying, “Talk the Talk and Walk the Walk” rings true. Enforce your position and it will make your organization stronger and more profitable.
Thank you and May God bless you!
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