Common Mistakes to Avoid While Handling Workplace Discrimination
The HR department is responsible for maintaining a safe environment for employees. When disputes and concerns arise, the HR department must deal with the situation appropriately while at the same time upholding peace in the workplace.
One of the most common conflicts HR departments deal with is workplace discrimination. In the state of California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act bars employers from discriminating against employees based on their protected categories. Dealing with workplace discrimination complaints can be extremely challenging. HR departments are prone to making mistakes when dealing with workplace discrimination. It is crucial that when faced with handling workplace discrimination, you take the right steps and avoid making certain mistakes. This article discusses some common mistakes to avoid while handling workplace discrimination.Mistake #1: Overly Complicated Systems
Employees are required to follow the proper channel when making complaints of workplace discrimination. However, some reporting systems make the process more difficult for employees. You should avoid requiring employees to take over complicated steps when filing a complaint for workplace discrimination. You should avoid using systems that make reporting workplace discrimination more difficult. The reporting system should be user-friendly.Mistake #2: Not Taking Action Immediately
After an employee reports workplace discrimination, HR must respond immediately. If an employee feels like the HR department is not listening to them, they may assume their employer does not care about their safety and well-being. If an employee feels like HR does not value their safety and well-being, they may decide to involve external forces, like law enforcement. Regardless of how far-fetched a discrimination claim may seem, it is crucial that you take it seriously and take action immediately. As soon as you receive a workplace discrimination complaint, be sure to conduct an investigation.Mistake #3: Failing to Be Thorough
Failing to conduct a thorough investigation can have the same negative consequences as failing to investigate at all. After an employee makes a workplace discrimination complaint, ensure you interview key witnesses and review important documents. If an employee can show you did not conduct a thorough investigation, you could end up in a bad situation.Mistake #4: Hesitating to Implement Policies
If you hesitate to implement anti-discrimination policies, you are sending the message that you are not actively addressing discrimination complaints. For example, ensure managers are not discouraging employees from filing discrimination complaints. Not only can undiscovered workplace discrimination seriously damage an employee’s psyche and threaten their psychological safety, but it can also harm the company as a whole.Mistake #5: Losing Objectivity
You probably have opinions about most employees. It is human nature to have opinions about people. However, when handling workplace discrimination, it is crucial that you put aside these opinions and look objectively at the evidence when conducting an investigation. If you allow your opinions to be in control, the results of your investigation may be called into question. If you feel you cannot put your opinions aside and be objective, seek help from an attorney.Contact a Skilled Employment Attorney in San Francisco
If you are dealing with workplace discrimination complaints and need legal guidance, contact an experienced employment attorney in San Francisco at SAC Attorneys LLP.