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How to Handle Racism in the Workplace

by Melody Dawn, studioD

According to the University of Kansas, to be racially prejudiced means to exhibit an unfavorable attitude toward a person or group of people, based on skin color or ethnicity. When this form of prejudice isn't controlled, it can lead to racism, or inappropriate comments and unfair treatment. Racism can be illegal under laws set forth by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. If you see or experience racism in the workplace, you should report it so management can deal with it immediately.

Maintain a diverse workforce. Routinely hire and recruit individuals from a wide variety of groups. If you must, use an employment agency from different neighborhoods to reach a greater client base, and to preserve the diversity within your organization.

Offer promotions to existing staff members. Base the promotions solely off performance. You reduce racism when management power is also diverse.

Interview minorities or provide surveys on diversity. Ask what challenges they face in the workplace, and ask what they would like to see change.

Provide ongoing training on workplace diversity. Make sure employees understand the benefits of working in a diverse company. Stay informed of anti-discrimination laws and any changes

Create an anti-discrimination policy, and take immediate action against anyone who exhibits any behaviors of racism. If you discover racism is taking place, decide what types of punishment will be given. Racism is an extremely serious charge and can result in legal action against the accused and/or the company.

Respond immediately to any complaints of racism in the workplace. Treat each complaint with care. The longer you allow the complaint to sit unnoticed, the greater the chance of stress with the accuser. Perform your own initial investigation, and follow the plan of action set forth in the anti-discrimination policy.

Don't ever play favorites. Offer all employees the same benefits and advantages. By treating all employees equally, you lessen the chance of charges of racism.

About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Melody Dawn has been writing business articles and blogs since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and "USA Today." She is also skilled in writing product descriptions and marketing materials. Dawn holds a Master of Business from Brenau University.

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