As an employer, you must make a concerted effort to avoid inequalities in your workplace. You may think that you offer an equal opportunity employment option for your workers. However, some employers may be discriminating against various workers or job applicants in different ways without being aware that they are doing so.
If you want to truly avoid all types of discrimination in your workplace, you can apply these helpful tips to your business to improve in this area.
1: Understand the Law
There are numerous anti-discrimination laws that affect employers. These cover factors such as age, gender, and race. They also include sexual preferences, disabilities, pregnancies and more. Remember that the law defines discrimination in different ways, and you must understand all facets of the law and descriptions of discrimination if you want to offer equal opportunity employment to your team.
It is therefore important for you to review and understand the many employment laws that you must comply with as a first step. Reading case studies regarding related lawsuits and violations can also be helpful because it can tell you how courts have applied the laws in real-life situations.
2: Offer an Equivalent Wage for Those in the Same Position
Unequal pay between genders or based on age is unfortunately common, and it is a form of discrimination. Take time to analyze your current pay structure for each employee based on their experience, responsibilities, and skills.
If necessary, adjust compensation accordingly so that those who are in equivalent positions are receiving a comparable salary and benefits. When hiring new employees, it is just as important to offer each equally qualified individual the same salary or hourly rate and benefits.
3: Complete Annual Employee Reviews
Many companies offer annual raises based on the status of employee reviews. For example, employees that have a very positive review may earn a higher raise than those with only an acceptable review. You should annually review all employees, and you should dole out raises in the same manner to make this process fair.
Furthermore, one should identify and improve all effort to discriminate against some individuals during the review process. For example, if you notice that women generally receive lower marks on reviews, ensure that this is reasonably justified and that it is not the result of a gender bias.
4: Review Resumes for Job Openings Blindly
Some hiring managers may unintentionally screen resumes based on race or age with a cursory review of a candidate’s name or year they graduated from high school or college. If you find that this is a common practice in your office take action! Consider placing a sticky note on the resume headers and education information on each resume before you start reviewing them.
This will help you to avoid any unintentional bias as you screen resumes. You may further conduct phone interviews to further narrow down your candidate pool without bias before conducting in-person interviews. One might conduct in-person interviews with a panel system. This way, multiple individuals from different ethnic backgrounds and both genders can have a say in who is the chosen candidate.
5: Ask for Interest Before Promoting from Within
When promoting from within, ensure that you make new openings available to all interested parties through a formal announcement, application and interview process. Create a rubric to determine which individual is most qualified and deserving of the promotion. A rubric gives you an unbiased way to screen these individuals in an equal opportunity employment environment.
6: Offer Equivalent Training Opportunities to All
In some companies, extra training and certifications may only be offered to select individuals. They are deemed to be worthy of the effort and cost. However, you should strive to create a fair workplace with equal opportunity employment. Therefore, all training opportunities should be open to any individuals who want to attend.
If you are mandating training for some individuals, you should provide the same training for everyone in the same position or department.
7: Be Fair About Pregnancy
Pregnant employees, as well as those who have a pregnant partner, may need more time off for well-checks and doctor appointments. They may also need to take time off of work after the baby’s birth. Be fair about the amount of time you offer to each employee. Furthermore, consider creating a new child policy for fathers as well as for couples who have recently adopted a new child.
8: Avoid Gender or Age Bias for Specific Positions
With some positions, it may seem natural to hire a man or a woman or to select a younger or older individual. For example, a maintenance worker position may seem ideal for a man. At the same time, a receptionist position may seem better for a woman.
Avoid making these discriminatory decisions about who should work in which position. Instead, focus on the qualifications and experience of the individual when deciding which candidates to interview. Then, hire for equal opportunity employment.
9: Make Your Workplace Accessible for Disabled Individuals
It is also important to update your work environment as needed to accommodate disabled individuals. You may not be required to take this step if you have a very small business. However, you also should not discriminate against those who are disabled simply because you do not want to update your work environment.
10: Hire an Experienced Human Resources Manager
You might have trouble identifying discriminatory practices in your workplace. Moreover, you might fear that you may have biases that could interfere with your decisions. Either way, it is wise to hire a human resources manager to assist you.
A neutral individual can inform you when your efforts are biased, or you make decisions based on prejudice. This can help you avoid getting into legal trouble regarding equal opportunity employment issues.
Equal opportunity employment is a legal obligation that you must comply with. Violations can result in lawsuits and legal charges. Furthermore, they can also produce negative publicity that can impact your business for years to come. By walking following these important tips, you can more confidently provide a non-discriminatory workplace for your employees to enjoy.