While employment harassment and discrimination are against the law, it continues to be common in the workplace. Creating a positive workplace environment plays an important role in protecting businesses and employees. With over 30 years worth of experience in this area of law, our Cook County discrimination lawyer offers tips on how to identify problems and improve workplace culture.
Identifying Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace
Workers are protected against harassment and discrimination through the Illinois Human Rights Act. It prevents discrimination based on age, ethnicity, gender, race, religious affiliation, or disabled status. Employers can be fined and subject to lawsuits for harassment and discrimination on the part of individual employees or for allowing an environment that creates a hostile work culture. Problems to be alert for include:
- Discriminatory interview and hiring practices;
- Failing to make reasonable accommodations for workers;
- Paying and promoting people based on attributes other than job performance;
- Allowing jokes, innuendos, or other inappropriate remarks to be made verbally, posted on bulletin boards, or shared through company communications.
How to Create a Good Company Culture and Prevent Harassment/Discrimination
Workplace culture refers to the general attitude and environment predominant in your business, which is conveyed through words, actions, and inactions to employees. Through the Illinois Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Hotline, workers have the right to lodge complaints about harassing and discriminatory behavior, which could result in potentially costly claims. To prevent this, it is important to be proactive. Take these five steps to create a good company culture:
- Make sure you interview and hire diverse, qualified candidates;
- Make affirmative statements in employee manuals regarding the type of workplace you want to promote;
- Review company policies to ensure fair standards, equal pay, and opportunities for advancement;
- Model good behavior from the owner down through managers and employees;
- Have a clear process for addressing any complaints as soon as they arise, before they become a major problem.
Periodic employee surveys, a supportive human resources department, company-wide memos affirming a positive work culture, and training/meeting sessions to discuss problems other businesses face in regards to harassment and discrimination can all help improve workplace culture. As an added bonus, it can also help you retain the best employees and improve your overall profits.
Discuss Your Case With Our Cook County Harassment and Discrimination Lawyer
If you have questions regarding how to improve work culture or are being subject to harassment or discrimination, reach out to The Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. Request a confidential consultation to discuss your case and call or contact our Cook County harassment land discrimination lawyer online today.