Discrimination is the act of treating a person or group of persons differently because of their race, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or ethnicity. This treatment is usually harmful or disadvantageous to the person who is discriminated against.
The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) prohibits companies from discriminating against future employees. Candidates must feel that they have an equal opportunity of being hired for an open position based on their education or qualifications. Employers should take proactive measures to make the hiring process transparent and free of unlawful discrimination including gender and wage bias. For example, an employer hiring both male and female candidates for the same position should ensure that they offer equal or fair pay to both individuals. Many employers have outlined specific compensation standards and practices to ensure compliance with the regulations established by the EEOC.
Employers must also establish anti-discriminatory policies to protect existing employees. Many of these policies must be posted throughout the organization where employees may be informed of their rights under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If an individual feels that they have been treated unfairly by their employer, they should first discuss their concerns with the company’s Human Resources department. The Human Resources department should discuss the issue with all parties involved and determine if an investigation is needed. If the employee continues to feel discriminated against, they can file a formal charge with the EEOC. The commission will investigate the charges against the employer and determine if their accusations are valid. If they are valid, they will launch an investigation and decide if mediation or further actions must be taken by the employer to correct the situation.
Many employers provide education and training to their employees regarding several types of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Furthermore, companies have streamlined the hiring and promotion process in order to avoid wage and gender differences. Should an employee feel discriminated against, companies should act swiftly to address the issue and have a formalized complaint process.