Discrimination in the Workplace: A New Challenge for Employers

man and woman arguing
  • Discrimination is a severe issue in the workplace and can take many forms, including retaliation, harassment, and diversity issues.
  • Employers can combat discrimination by developing an anti-discrimination policy and seeking legal help.
  • Encourage employee feedback and offer diversity and inclusion training to raise awareness.
  • Promote a workplace culture of fairness, equality, and inclusivity.
  • Take steps to ensure that all employees feel safe, supported, and valued.

Discrimination is an ugly practice that has been around for centuries, and though there have been significant strides to eradicate it, it persists in various forms in society. The workplace is one area where discrimination can occur, and it’s a growing challenge for employers.

Retaliation, harassment, and diversity issues are common forms of discrimination that employers must address. Discrimination can be costly, not only for businesses but for individuals, families, and society at large. This blog post will explore some forms of discrimination that are present in the workplace and propose some solutions for employers to help combat discrimination.


Retaliation is an act of punishment against an employee for complaining about workplace discrimination. Employees may experience different forms of retaliation. For example, they could be subjected to changes in their job duties or hours, reprimands, intimidated, or even fired.

Employers can avoid this form of discrimination by creating a company culture that supports employees who come forward with concerns about discrimination. Employers should also ensure effective communication between HR personnel and employees, have a clear policy for employees to report any discrimination, and provide relevant training to prevent retaliation.


woman getting touched on the should by a male colleague

Harassment can take many forms, from verbal, visual, physical, and psychological. It can be sexual, racial, or based on ethnicity, religion, or age. Employers must ensure that employees know what constitutes and how to report harassment.

Employers are responsible for creating a safe and inclusive work environment for all employees. Employers can implement measures like creating a zero-tolerance policy for harassment, encouraging open communication, and training employees and management to understand what constitutes harassment.


Diversity refers to recognizing and embracing differences in people, including, but not limited to, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and age. Employers can promote diversity by employing a diverse workforce, actively seeking diverse perspectives, and providing opportunities for employees to learn about and embrace differences in culture and beliefs. Employers can organize cultural awareness events and training and support employee resource groups to promote diversity.

Racial Disparities

Racial disparities are inequalities in the treatment and opportunities for a particular race or ethnicity. In the workplace, racial disparities can manifest in different forms, like lower rates of job promotions and unequal pay.

Employers should ensure that their company policies do not have any provisions that discriminate against anyone based on their race or ethnicity. Employers can implement measures like performance evaluations that do not consider race, establishing a diverse interview panel, and equal pay practices.

Managing Discrimination

Workplace discrimination is a serious issue that can impact employee morale, retention rates, and even your company’s bottom line. It’s up to employers to promote a culture of inclusivity and equality, but knowing where to start can be overwhelming. Here are four ways employers can manage workplace discrimination and create a more supportive and welcoming workplace for all employees.

Develop a Clear Anti-Discrimination Policy

The first step in managing workplace discrimination is to develop a clear and comprehensive anti-discrimination policy. This policy should outline your commitment to a workplace free from bias and prejudice, your zero-tolerance approach to discrimination, and the consequences for violating this policy.

Seek Legal Help

lawyer with his team

When everything else fails, seeking legal help from an experienced professional employment law mediator may be necessary. They can advise on workplace discrimination issues and represent you in court. Their expertise in employment law can help you navigate any complex legal issues that may arise and ensure that the proper steps are taken to resolve the issue.

Encourage Employee Feedback

Employees who experience discrimination may hesitate to speak up, fearing retaliation or a lack of support. Encourage your team to provide feedback and openly discuss any concerns. Create multiple channels for employees to report discrimination, such as an anonymous hotline or online portal, and assure them that their complaints will be taken seriously and handled with confidentiality.

Offer Diversity and Inclusion Training

Providing diversity and inclusion training to employees can help to raise awareness of different cultures, behaviors, and perspectives. It can help to break down unconscious biases and increase sensitivity to the experiences of other team members.

The Bottom Line

Discrimination is a challenge for any organization, but with a significant effort from employers, it is possible to combat it in the workplace. Employers must always uphold fairness and equality to ensure their employees feel safe, supported, and valued. By creating a work environment that promotes diversity and inclusion, employers can have a positive impact not only on their employees but also on society.

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