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Making discrimination a thing of the past

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By Margaret A. Graham, attorney, Montgomery & Andrews P.A.

 

Employment discrimination is toxic for the employer, the perpetrator and the victim. It cripples productivity, creates a hostile work environment and hurts employee morale. 

If allowed to continue, it can lead to costly lawsuits and damage a business’s image, reputation and brand.

The best way an employer can avoid being found liable for employment discrimination is to make equal opportunity the company standard — from recruitment to promotions, pay, benefits and training opportunities. Employers should know enough about employment law to recognize discrimination and the potential for discrimination when they see it and to ask for expert help if they are unsure.

Employees share responsibility for keeping the workplace free of discrimination. Employees should not tell jokes that disparage sexual or racial minorities, for example, and should not tolerate other people who behave badly toward them, or their co-workers. Management must encourage a climate of comfort for employees to report discriminatory, or harassing behavior.


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