In spite of many progressive movements and laws, discrimination remains pervasive in and outside of the workplace. Showing others that discrimination is not acceptable in your workplace will help maintain a place of equal opportunity and ensure that everyone feels safe. Whether you are an employee witnessing or experiencing discrimination or you are an employer who receives a report of discriminatory activity, there are ways you can appropriately and professionally handle the situation without compromising your integrity or position.
If you experience or witness discrimination in the workplace, the first thing you should do is report the activity to a superior or your employer. Make sure they know you take this seriously and request that written reports be documented for each incident.
Keep a record for yourself, as well. Document dates, times, and the details of any incidents. Hold onto any objects accompanying the discrimination such as threatening or insensitive photographs; your claims will be considered more valid with the physical evidence to back them up.
If your employer does not take appropriate action, you may want to consider filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In addition to this, make sure you are familiar with your company’s policies, as well as your rights; familiarize yourself with the law before taking any legal action, but do what is necessary if your superiors do not come to your aid.
If you receive a report of discrimination, you should try to take immediate action and do whatever seems appropriate. By seriously addressing any complaints of discrimination, you will show your employees that the policy is sincere and no discrimination will be tolerated.
In order to prevent discrimination from occurring, you can focus on educating your employees through classes or workshops and evaluate your existing policies against discrimination; if it is inadequate, vague, or hasn’t been circulated, be sure to revise as necessary and make sure your employees are aware of the policy
You can also spend time teaching superiors how to respond to discrimination. This will not only ensure that your employees are prepared to handle any situation, but will also show your employees that you are concerned about their well-being. It will be more beneficial to show your employees that you support them and do not tolerate discrimination by creating and upholding your own policy and making sure you have the means of enforcing it.