Here are 4 Things to Keep in Mind When Evaluating EEOC Best Practices
Posted on Monday, June 4, 2018 by Rae Shanahan
The U.S. workplace has been the scene of important societal questions and conversations this past year, with good reason.
From the #MeToo movement, to a closer look at equal employment actions and increasing diversity in the workplace, there has been an ongoing conversation of how to make workplaces safe and welcoming. As these conversations are happening, they present an ideal time to assess your own workplace and practices.
Perhaps the most foundational place to start is with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC). Employers and employees alike must adhere to federal laws that help create a welcoming, fair, and safe environment.
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing the laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetic information. Additionally, the EEOC protects workers who file discrimination charges against retaliation from their employers.
There is a lot to unpack there. While you never want to believe there are issues under your own roof, consider checking in on these areas to ensure your organization’s practices are compliant.
Is our recruitment team keeping strong records? Documenting EEOC compliance has been a standard practice for many years now, so the answer is likely yes. However, it is always wise to do a regular review of your current efforts and records. Ensure your record keeping is up to date and efficient. If it’s not, analyze what’s missing and what steps you need to take to get back on track.
Are we granting reasonable accommodations? As an employer, you are responsible for providing reasonable accommodations or modifications for medical or religious reasons. For example, if an employee has diabetes, that worker may need additional breaks or the time to check glucose and administer insulin during the day. Rather than assume employees will come to you asking for the accommodations, be proactive in asking your entire workforce how you can better comply.
Are we providing equal pay across genders? Probably the most discussed topic in the workplace in 2017 was equal pay across genders. Starting in Hollywood and working its way across industries, there is a movement for demanding equal pay for equal work. There is no longer tolerance for underpaying employees due to gender. Set aside time and resources to assess your current payroll and make the necessary changes in order to reach compliance.
Have we provided training on discrimination in the past year? This is a topic that has been trending the past year with more employees taking a stand against discrimination. A training on the topic allows you to educate employees on compliance and open the floor for discussion. Whether a town hall or a webinar, this is a positive way to remind your employees you are aware of equal employment and available to listen to their concerns.
Don’t assume that everything is perfect because you haven’t heard complaints. Be proactive and start assessing your approach to creating better working environments for your employees.