Discrimination laws are becoming increasingly strict, with companies now facing massive fines if they flout the rules.
What’s more, engaging in active discrimination can actually wind up hurting firms in several ways.
Here are some of the risks:
#1 Poor Reputation
Discriminatory policies can give companies a bad reputation and draw the ire of equality activists. Companies that discriminate against employees based on race, gender, sexual orientation, or religious beliefs run the risk of experiencing negative public relations, putting their brand at risk.
Today, it is incredibly easy for companies to fall foul of discrimination law. For instance, a company that doesn’t offer a ramp to its front door for wheelchair users might unleash the rage of the disabled community, creating a backlash that leads to boycotting and falling sales.
#2 Employee Satisfaction
Avoiding discrimination at work 2019 is essential for another reason: attracting talented people.
Companies rely on competent, successful people to help them achieve success. Without high-quality people in your organization, it’s difficult to create value and gain a competitive advantage.
Discriminatory practices hurt employee satisfaction. What’s more, thanks to sites like Glassdoor and LinkedIn, word gets around. Highly qualified and talented people can sleuth on prospective employers and find out whether they are engaged in unethical practices or not.
Discrimination comes with a host of costs, but one of the most serious is legal liability. There is now extensive federal-level legislation that prevents companies from engaging in discrimination against employees on protected grounds.
Laws such as the Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 all make it clear that companies that discriminate are breaking the law.
For executives, responding to a claim of discrimination is time-consuming, costly, and could potentially damage the brand. For smaller businesses that don’t have a person dedicated to resolving legal issues, the costs can be even higher. You may, for instance, have to hire an attorney to draft a response to your accusers, cutting into your bottom line.
#4 Increased Recruiting Costs
If your business engages in actively discriminatory policies, then it is likely to lead to higher staff turnover. Again, this is a problem. The more people who leave your company, the more money you must spend recruiting new hires.
What’s more, when voluntary turnover is high, you’re not just losing poor-performing workers: you’re also hemorrhaging your best people.
Great people are challenging to find and hard to replace. Thus discrimination could put your business on a long-term downward trajectory.
#5 Losing Out On The Best People
If you employ discriminatory practices in your hiring process, you could be losing out on the best people.
Often, discrimination isn’t deliberate. Sometimes hiring managers can inadvertently reject a candidate because of their beliefs and appearance, even if they would be the best choice for the firm.
The trick is to put in place hiring practices that minimize the risk of this kind of bias in decision-making so that all candidates are judged on merit.
What is your business doing to minimize discrimination?