A company has to be able to maintain order to ensure that everything operates as smoothly as it should. This is why there are multiple company policies that have to be made so that every employee within a company understands what they should and should not do. While there may be a ton of problems that could happen in the workplace, one of the most common ones is related to discrimination. Due to this, there are nondiscrimination rules that are set up so that employees will know the consequences should they even attempt the offense. This article is going to focus on how you can create your company’s own nondiscrimination policy.
How to write a nondiscrimination policy
Having an anti- or nondiscrimination policy in the workplace will protect individuals from any form of harassment and help promote a positive working environment. Every employer should know how to set up a nondiscrimination policy in the workplace.
So, the following are things that you have to do in order to set one up:
1. Learn the anti-discrimination state laws
If you are going to set up your own nondiscrimination policy, then you have to learn about the state or country laws regarding anti-discrimination rules and procedures. You need to do your research so that your policy will meet all the required state and federal laws as well as provide protection to your company from any legal notice issues that could come up when confronting any discrimination within your workplace. If you have finished creating the policy, then the best thing to do is to have your lawyer go through it to see if it really does meet with all of the requirements of the laws regarding discrimination. This way, your policy will be one that you and your employees can trust.
2. State the purpose of the policy
The first paragraph of your nondiscrimination policy must contain the reason why the policy is being made and implemented. It should also point out your company’s stand on discrimination. Your policy needs to be able to explain that any form of discrimination in the office will not be tolerated. Avoid writing in general or broad language so that employees will not get confused about what you are trying to say. Make use of clear and concise wording so that employees will easily be able to understand your meaning and, at the same time, your policy will be able to state all of the necessary legal statement aspects.
3. State the definition of discrimination
Your employees might not even be aware that they are committing acts of discrimination unless you point it out to them in their employee handbooks. So, you have to point it out clearly with different examples such as verbal comments, offensive drawings, or harassing emails pertaining to another person’s religion, gender, race, age, etc. By providing your employees with real-world examples, you will be able to give them a better understanding of the actions that are considered as discriminatory within the workplace.
4. Reporting discrimination
Conclude the policy by stating how your employees should report any acts of discrimination that take place within the workplace. Give clear instructions on how your employees can do the reporting. You also have to point out the different authorities or names of managers these employees can report to in the case of a discrimination incident. Explain what should happen if any discriminatory behavior would occur and how management will deal with the offenders. This can be anything from giving the offender a verbal warning or handing out a termination letter, depending on the severity of the offense. Include a separate sheet at the end of your discrimination policy page where your employees are able to place their signatures. This way, it can be used as evidence that these employees have fully read, understood, and are willing to comply with your company’s nondiscrimination policy.
What should you do once the policy is made?
Now that you have created your policy, you have to think of ways to make sure that it is effective. So, here is how you can ensure that everyone follows your nondiscrimination policy:
Develop and institute mandatory anti-discrimination training programs
Employers need a policy that will be put into practice. This is why it is necessary to develop nondiscrimination programs that will train employees on how they should abide by the nondiscrimination policy of your company. With the help of a nondiscrimination program, employers will be able to highlight their smart goals of eliminating all forms of harassment and discrimination from the workplace and reinforce the values of professionalism and mutual respect. Basically, it helps the employee make sure that everyone understands what to do in order to maintain a positive and discrimination-free working environment.
Training schedule should occur annually (or, at least, periodically) and attendance should be mandatory. Depending on the state or country that you live in, there may be laws that require you to have these programs. So, once you are able to organize these programs, you have to make the employees sign an acknowledgment regarding their attendance. After which, employers must gather all of these signed acknowledgments and keep them in their personnel files. Furthermore, any program conducted must be easily understandable and should also:
- Ensure that all employees are aware of and continue to be aware of the sample company’s policies and procedures regarding discrimination or harassment within the workplace. This will include how these employees will go about reporting any acts of discrimination and the many different types of harassment or discrimination that will not be tolerated on company grounds.
- Encourage all employees to participate in the program and provide the audience with real-world examples. Doing so will not only make the program more interesting and fulfilling, it will also allow employees to better understand the acts of discrimination and when they should report them in the event that they actually witness it happening.
Employers should also conduct a separate training program for managers or supervisors so that they will easily be able to spot harassment in the workplace and learn how they are going to handle any employee complaints regarding discrimination or harassment. It is very important that these people know how to handle discrimination problems within the workplace as they will be the ones to help out employees who have become victims. Managers and supervisors must also be aware that they shall also be disciplined if ever they fail to report any acts of discrimination or harassment, or in the event that they are the offenders.
So if you are going to set up a nondiscrimination program, then you have to pick out a Human Resources professional or employment counsel to conduct the training. This way, you can ensure that the program will go smoothly and that all points of your company’s nondiscrimination policy will be properly discussed with your employees.