handling discrimination at work

Handling Discrimination At Work: 8 Rules For Managers

who this class is for

Human resources (HR) managers, managers and employers

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About this micro-class

Handling discrimination in the workplace is crucial for creating a healthy workplace that values diversity, promotes inclusion, and addresses discrimination effectively.

Best Practices for Handling Discrimination at Work

1. Establish Clear Policies

Develop comprehensive anti-discrimination and harassment policies that clearly define prohibited behaviors and provide examples.

Ensure that these policies are communicated effectively to all employees.

2. Training Programs

Conduct regular training sessions for employees and managers on diversity, inclusion, and preventing discrimination.

Include information on the company’s policies, reporting procedures, and consequences for discriminatory behavior.

3. Promote Diversity and Inclusion

Actively work to create a diverse and inclusive workplace culture.

Encourage diversity in hiring practices and ensure that employees from various backgrounds feel valued and included.

4. Provide Reporting Mechanisms

Establish clear and confidential channels for employees to report incidents of discrimination.

Assure employees that they can report discrimination without fear of retaliation.

5. Thorough Investigations

Promptly and thoroughly investigate all discrimination complaints.

Treat all parties involved with fairness and ensure confidentiality during the investigation process.

6. Document Everything

Keep detailed records of all discrimination complaints, investigations, and outcomes.

Document actions taken and follow-ups to demonstrate a commitment to addressing the issue.

7. Responsive Action

Take appropriate disciplinary action against individuals found guilty of discrimination.

Implement corrective measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.

8. Cultivate an Open Culture

Encourage open communication and a culture where employees feel comfortable expressing concerns about discrimination.

Foster a culture that values feedback and continuous improvement.

Mistakes to Avoid in Handling Discrimination at Work

Ignoring Complaints

Failing to take discrimination complaints seriously or ignoring them can create a toxic work environment.


Avoid any form of retaliation against employees who report discrimination. This can have a chilling effect on reporting.

Inconsistent Enforcement

Inconsistency in applying policies and consequences can undermine trust and lead to further issues.

Lack of Training

Neglecting to provide regular training on diversity and inclusion may contribute to ignorance or insensitivity in the workplace.

Lack of Diversity

If HR lacks diversity, it may struggle to understand and address the concerns of employees from diverse backgrounds.

Failure to Communicate

Poor communication about anti-discrimination policies, reporting procedures, and outcomes can lead to confusion and frustration.

Overlooking Microaggressions

Focusing only on overt discrimination and ignoring microaggressions can contribute to an unwelcoming atmosphere for certain groups.

Failure to Learn and Improve

Not learning from past incidents and implementing changes to prevent future discrimination is a missed opportunity for improvement.

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