Involvement in discrimination or other workplace lawsuits and claims is not something any business wants to have to engage in. Alaska employers should be aware of applicable state, local and federal laws against illegal discrimination in the workplace, and should take appropriate steps to protect their employees and their businesses.
Ways to help prevent unlawful discrimination in the workplace can include:
- Respect cultural and racial differences in the workplace.
- Exercise professional conduct and speech.
- Refuse to initiate, participate or condone discrimination or harassment in the workplace.
- Be aware of company workplace policies and according accordingly and responsibly.
- Provide and attend workplace trainings and be familiar with anti-discrimination laws.
- Be proactive in responding to complaints concerning inappropriate, discriminatory, harassing or abusive behaviors in the workplace.
These tools can help prevent racial harassment in the workplace but can also be used to prevent other forms of prohibited discrimination in the workplace such as discrimination based on religion, gender or other protected categories. Additionally, they can help foster a workplace environment that is also free of sexual harassment, which is considered a form of discrimination on the basis of sex.
Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is unlawful to discriminate against people on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex or religion. Note that illegal discrimination on the basis of sex can include discrimination on the basis of pregnancy. Other laws protect against discrimination on the basis of age and disability. These anti-discrimination laws apply to hiring, firing, promotions, compensation, transfers and many other employer actions.
To create a promote a workplace free of workplace discrimination, it is helpful to have clear policies prohibiting it that all employees are familiar with. Complaints should also be handled seriously and there should be a clear process for reporting complaints.
Employers should know about best practices to help prevent discrimination and harassment in their workplaces and how employment laws can help them create a workplace free from discrimination.