California employees are protected from discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and state laws. An employer cannot discriminate on the basis of:
• Gender, gender identity, or gender expression
• Sexual orientation
• National origin
• Medical conditions
• Sex, including pregnancy, childbirth, or breast-feeding
• Citizenship status
• Genetic information
• Marital status
Unfortunately, allegations of unlawful discrimination regularly arise in many different workplace settings, and many businesses find themselves involved in a discrimination claim at one point or another. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to avoid unlawful discrimination in your work environment. Here are examples of preventative steps you can take.
Steps to Avoid Discrimination in Your Workplace
1. Develop Clear Policies
An experienced employment attorney can advise you on how best to develop and implement strict, zero-tolerance anti-discrimination policies that are easy for all employees to understand and follow. Make sure you regularly review and adapt your policies to match any changes in the law. Make sure to post information regarding your policies in a conspicuous place in the office and distribute information regarding your policies in the employee handbook or manual.
2. Require Mandatory Training
Make certain all employees, especially managers, understand how to comply with relevant anti-discrimination policies and laws by requiring them to attend regular training sessions on workplace discrimination. Have them acknowledge in writing they fully understood the training materials.
3. Create a Diverse Environment
Creating diversity among management, staff and work groups often helps to encourage acceptance and equality instead of prejudice or discriminatory attitudes. This can also work to avoid any allegations of discriminatory hiring or promotion practices.
4. Have a Clear Policy on Reporting Discrimination
Establish clear channels employees may follow in order to feel safe in reporting discrimination in the workplace and so they feel reassured against unlawful retaliation. Additionally, have clear disciplinary actions set out for discriminatory behavior and stick to those policies.
Contact an experienced employment attorney for assistance today
If an employee makes accusations of unlawful discrimination or harassment against your business, it is imperative you seek the assistance of an experienced employment lawyer as soon as possible.
At Structure Law Group in San Jose, we are committed to helping California employers prevent and defend against allegations of unlawful workplace discrimination. Please do not hesitate to call us at (408) 441-7500 for help today.
About Structure Law Group
Structure Law Group is a San Jose based firm that specializes in business issues including business formations, commercial contracts and litigation.