Companies that are characterized by a diverse, respectful, and dignified workplace invariably enjoy the benefits of improved employee morale, higher productivity, larger market share, and a strong bottom line.
And that’s good news, because your organization IS going to be characterized by diversity—demographics alone guarantee it. But as we saw in yesterday’s Advisor, addressing diversity can be difficult.
Here’s another exercise that can start your discussions of diversity.
Diversity or Discrimination?
Divide into groups to answer, or, if you have a small group, answer individually and then compare answers.
Could the supervisors’ comments listed below cause legal trouble? If so, how?
- “Alice is pregnant. She shouldn’t be flying, so I’m taking her off all the out-of-town cases.”
- “Let’s all get together Saturday—well, except for Al. He tends to put a damper on things.” (Al is of a different ethnic background than the other members of the group.)
- “Tracy has young kids at home; he won’t be interested in that promotional opportunity—too many late hours.”
- “So they’re getting on me for my EEO stats? I’ve got the solution—I’m selecting minorities from now on. I just won’t hire any nonminority, even if he or she is more qualified.”
- “Women aren’t tough enough for this job. It takes a real lumberjack type to last 8 hours at this job.”
- “I’m not hiring someone who wears that crazy getup. I’ve got to entertain clients here.”
- “I didn’t hire him. He does have the qualifications, but with that impairment I don’t see how he can do the job.”
Need more diversity training resources? Check out the courses for employees and supervisors in TrainingToday’s Diversity Library. Get More Information.
- “Personally, I’d like to hire with diversity, but my customers just wouldn’t be comfortable with that. It’s a business decision, not discrimination.”
- “I guess we have to hire him, but that doesn’t mean I have to associate with him, or even speak to him.”
Here are the Advisor’s assessments of the statements above:
- This kind of patronizing comment is a plea for a lawsuit. You must treat pregnant employees the same as all other employees.
- This comment could cause legal trouble. Exclusion from quasi-corporate activities is likely discrimination.
- Once again, a patronizing approach such as this is illegal.
- This king of thinking is called reverse discrimination. It’s actionable.
- This statement indicates illegal stereotyping. Rather than reject a class of people, assess an individual’s ability to do the job.
- If that “crazy getup” is religion-based, this could be trouble.
- If the impairment is a disability, this approach is clearly discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The situation requires an interactive discussion.
- Customer preference is not an acceptable excuse for discrimination.
- Sounds like discrimination. If the person in question is of a particular ethnic group, avoidance discrimination will be a possible charge.
Training Today’s Diversity library is an interactive training program with different modules for supervisors and employees. It features real-world scenarios and insightful commentary from a leading workplace expert and employment law attorney.
Training To Engage Learners
Unlike many training solutions available on the market today, BLR’s TrainingToday courses are highly engaging and interactive. They are also routinely reviewed and updated to reflect changes in federal regulations or best practices. Each training course is developed by BLR lawyers, industry experts, and instructional designers who have experience across a wealth of industries, topics, and compliance areas.
Courses keep participants interested with engaging audio, built-in exercises, and key points to remember. At the completion of every course, individuals take a quiz designed to test for competency in all the course material presented. Quiz results and course completion times are automatically recorded.
Every course can be tailored with supporting and custom documents. BLR provides supporting documents for courses that include complete slide show notes and the answer key for the included quiz. As the administrator, you have the option of displaying uploaded documents and requiring review before the session begins. This is especially useful for company policies or worksite-specific information. Supporting materials can be added, edited, or removed at any time.
Training Today’s Diversity library is an interactive training program with individual modules for supervisors and employees. Find out more.
With only a few minutes’ setup, you company will have a complete Web-based training program with professionally developed courses, employee testing capabilities, and systematic documentation of employee training sessions and scores. And remember, BLR TrainingToday courses can be delivered at individual employee desks, in computer centers, at training kiosks, or even in a classroom.
No wonder BLR TrainingToday was named “Best Workforce Training Solution” by the Software Information Industry Association. It can help you launch a cost-effective and successful employee training program.
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