The way a job description is worded, different parameters for the same position and overlooked training are some ways companies may create unintentional discrimination towards employees. Attention to these details will lead to a positive impact on your company culture while increasing diversity in your workplace.

1. Improve Awareness and Training

There are discrimination and retaliation laws that many may not realize exist. These laws protect against discrimination based on the following: race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, marital status, familial or pregnancy status, status with regard to public assistance, membership or activity in a human rights local commission, genetic information and veteran or military status.  A great way to set the stage for understanding and effective conversation with current employees is to invest time and money on awareness and training.

Summary of Protections

There are protected areas where discrimination is illegal under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. The below table provides insight into which protected classes of discrimination are covered under the act.

EmploymentHousingPublic AccommodationPublic ServiceEducationCreditBusiness
Raceyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Coloryesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Creedyesyesyesyesyesyesno
Religionyesyesyesyesyesyesno
National Originyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Sexyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Marital Statusyesyesyesnoyesyesno
Disabilityyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Public Assistanceyesyesnoyesyesyesno
Ageyesnononoyesnono
Sexual Orientationyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Familial Statusyesyesnonononono
Local Human Rights
Commission Activity
yesnononononono
Information from the Minnesota Department of Human Rights

Additional information on individual rights under the Minnesota Human Rights Act can be found on the Minnesota Department of Human Rights website.

2. Assign Responsibility to Managers

Although often associated with the HR department, discrimination can be prevented at a team level first and foremost. Companies need to remind their supervisors and managers their role in aiding against discrimination. These company leaders need to be reminded of their duty to report discrimination complaints and diligently report signs they are aware of.

3. Embrace Diversity

Create a workplace culture that embraces diversity. Many equal opportunity employers reflect the way their targeted goals are reached versus measurement of specific quotas. As a result, some businesses will promote diversity through networking, mentoring or inclusion training as a laid-back approach to adapting internal diversity programs.

4. Adopt Modern Approaches

Your business unintentionally hires men in certain positions or promotes team members of a certain age range, how do you avoid these trends? Some companies have started blind hiring where the individual’s name is hidden during the hiring or promotion process. Take an external look on your company processes to help reduce unintentional bias.

Vinna Human Resource is here to provide your company assistance in creating and nurturing your work environment to avoid unintentional discrimination. Schedule an appointment with us today to get started!

To find more information regarding discrimination in the workplace, check out i-Sight’s comprehensive guide.

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