What Is an Anti-discrimination Policy?

Anti-discrimination policies enforce the company’s commitment to zero tolerance toward discrimination in the workplace. This type of workplace policy must align with any existing federal, state, and local laws that are against discrimination to any individual, especially against those who belong to a protected class. Anti-discrimination policies should outline the actions that must be addressed against discrimination of any kind, such as age, appearance, color, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, and the like. Through this type of policy, the company can effectively set the standards throughout the company. It can also set expectations on how to deal with discrimination in the workplace. They can also identify the roles and responsibilities of individuals who are responsible for addressing any report that violates this policy.

39+ Anti-discrimination Policy Examples, Templates, Format in Word, PDF

If you are seeking for anti-discrimination policy templates and examples that can help you come up with your own, be sure to download any of the uploaded examples and templates below.

Sample Anti-discrimination Policy

Types of Workplace Discrimination

Every employee has the right to be protected and to be safe in their workplace. That is why most local government laws have specified the types of discrimination that no one should ever tolerate in the workplace. To create an effective anti-discrimination policy that has a wide coverage, you should be able to familiarize yourself with the types of workplace discrimination in the workplace as defined by the US Equality Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) You may refer to the list provided below.

Ageism: Their eligibility and capacity are not even considered when applying for a job simply because of their age. The good thing is that Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects those who fall under the ages 40 and above. This act prohibits any age discrimination through the phase of employment from job postings to job resignation. Age discrimination also applies to younger workers. There are still companies that prefer hiring seasoned workers instead of giving a chance for the younger ones to start building their careers with them. ADEA does not cover younger workers; however, other local laws protect them from age discrimination.Ableism: This type of discrimination happens when an employer treats an employee or applicant differently if they have a current disability, a history of being disabled, or even if they are related to someone who has a disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects the rights of an individual with a disability by allowing them to be accommodated fairly by employers not only upon their job application and throughout their employment but also by opening appropriate job positions for them.Racism: Racial discrimination, like many other types of discrimination, is still well rampant in many company cultures. Policymakers have already created laws that prohibit racism in the workplace. Despite being illegal, racial discrimination continues to be persistent in the workplace. This type of discrimination does not only manifest in foul racist graffiti and vandalism in company restrooms, in ethnic slurs, or physical intimidation. It’s as subtle as giving unfair tasks to a degree where discriminated employees receive lower pay than other employees, little to no work benefits, and unfair judgment of work performance.National Origin: An individual’s national origin is also a common type of discrimination. But doing any discriminatory act is against Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This act covers any applicant or employee against any form of discrimination against their national origin, especially if it leads to creating a hostile work environment. Regardless of an individual’s ancestry, birthplace, culture, ethnicity, or even relationship with someone from a national origin group, they will not be denied equal employment opportunity. Any harassment toward them is not tolerated. That said, accent discrimination, English-only rules, and the like are strongly prohibited in the workplace.Religious Discrimination: Discriminating an employee because of their religious beliefs is illegal and is also protected under the Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964. The employers are not allowed to maltreat someone in all aspects of employment simply because their personal beliefs are different. Under this act, employees are granted time off during holidays that involve their religion. Other than that, this act does not only protect those who belong to organized religions, but it also protects those who have a relationship with someone who is a part of the organization.Gender Discrimination: Gender discrimination is as subtle as telling a woman not to cut her hair to look “presentable” and is as harsh as being paid less compared to someone of a different gender even with the equal workload. What’s worse about gender discrimination is that, most of the time, not everything is not done explicitly that is why having an anti-discrimination policy that covered gender discrimination can do so much change. Most importantly, gender discrimination at the workplace is not exclusive to women as some jobs do not hire men thinking they are not fit for the job.Unequal Pay: In a 2016 Glassdoor research, it has been found out that the progress of gender pay equality has become inactive. Its gap―which is at the average of 75-80 cents―has not changed for already a decade. The difference may only be nearly a dollar, but why should there be a penny difference in the first place if everyone is doing the same job? Fortunately, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is there to enforce laws and acts that ensure every employee, regardless of their age, orientation, color, and the like, receives equal compensation among those with equivalent eligibilities.Sexual Orientation Discrimination: Unfortunately, not all laws against discrimination based on their gender cover sexual orientation. But fortunately, there are state and federal laws that protect individuals who identify themselves as queer. Whether an employee identifies or perceives themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or heterosexual, they are still entitled to their rights as an individual and these rights should be protected especially in the workplace where they are most likely heavily discriminated. That said, any unfair treatment, harassment, bullying, and wrongful termination of a queer-identified individual is illegal.

How to Draft an Anti-discrimination Policy

The anti-discrimination policy of your company should enforce the message throughout the workplace that the company does not tolerate any discriminatory behavior. If an employee reports witnessing or experiencing discrimination at work, the anti-discrimination policy set by the company should be able to have specific actions that prove that the company is indeed serious in advocating fairness and diversity. To help you draft your company’s anti-discrimination or harassment policy, be sure to take the following steps as your guidelines.

Step 1: Outline the Objectives

At the start of your anti-discrimination policy, ensure that you outline the objectives of the policy. This is the section of your policy that states the company’s commitment to addressing any reports or claims on discrimination. It should also express its commitment to creating a work environment that promotes diversity and does not tolerate any violation against human rights. Apart from that, the policy should set standard conduct for appropriate behavior throughout the workplace, and that exerts effort to let the entire business organization that the discrimination in the workplace will never be acceptable. If reports and claims are proven, the company should state commit to mete out disciplinary measures. Prevention is better than cure they say, so it is also vital that the company should also indicate in its policies that they will provide training to all employees. In this way, everyone is accountable for their actions and will promote right and fair conduct at all times.

Step 2: Define Key Policy Concepts

It is necessary to define and expound the key concepts of your anti-discrimination policy to create a clear and common understanding within your company. It is crucial to identify key concepts, namely sexual harassment, which involves various conduct such as verbal, visual, physical, threats, or pressure. Apart from that, you may also include other types of harassment, which include ageism, ableism, racism, equal pay, religious discrimination, national origin, gender, unequal pay, and sexual orientation discrimination. Other than that, your company may choose to extend protection to other grounds such as gender expression, family status, marital status, ancestry, citizenship, a record of offenses, and any association or relationship with a person identified by one of the types of discrimination mentioned above.

Step 3: Set Roles and Responsibilities

A policy only works if the company has a team of people that are assigned specific roles and responsibilities in carrying out the contents of the policy. Managers and supervisors are expected to respond to any report or allegations of discrimination in the workplace. They also have the responsibility of maintaining a discrimination-free work environment. They must mitigate any potential problems before it escalates into more significant issues that are already difficult to resolve. Of course, they should also set as role models to the rest of the employees by complying with the policy themselves.

Step 4: Expound Standard Procedures and Rules

For this section of your policy, you should be able to expound on the details regarding the individuals and conduct that this policy covers. The policy should indicate how to deal with any discrimination incident report. It should also include the details of the procedure on how to respond to the complaint. This section should also define how the investigation of allegations will be carried out, and it should also indicate the key individuals who are obligated to investigate fairly and objectively. After conducting the necessary complaint investigation, indicate the corrective and disciplinary actions that should be meted out in this section.

Dos and Don’ts of Anti-discrimination Policy

To foster a discrimination-free working environment, you need to create a policy that should be effective as much as possible. But if it’s your first time to draft an anti-discrimination policy, it is better to go through the process knowing the basic dos and don’ts. With that, be guided with the following dos and don’ts to guide you further as you make a policy for your company.

Dos

1. Do know what is considered as workplace discrimination.

There are various types of discrimination and your anti-discrimination policy must be able to determine these types. As mentioned above, the types of workplace discrimination include ageism, ableism, racism, national origin, equal pay, religious bigotry, gender, and sexual orientation. By knowing what these types are, it is then more manageable for you to figure out the necessary steps that must be carried in the event when an employee reports witnessing or experiencing discriminatory acts in the workplace.

2. Do figure out how to address discrimination.

Now that you know the types of discrimination in the workplace, it should be easier for you to figure out the ways on how to deal with the different types of discrimination in the workplace. By doing so, you also allow your employees to know the various actions that must be taken to address any report on discrimination.

3. Do address any report of discrimination.

No matter how well you’ve written your policies, it will serve no purpose at all if it will not be acted out by the persons assigned to hear out any reports related to discrimination. The human resources (HR) department should be assigned with specific tasks that involve hearing out reports against the anti-discrimination policy, investigating the details of the report, and the determining and meting out the rightful punishment.

4. Do invest in training people.

If you have already assigned a group of people to deal with reports of discrimination, it is crucial to provide them training on how to handle such reports effectively. Do not merely assign someone incapable of resolving discrimination issues in your workplace. By giving the designated individuals the proper and appropriate training, you also save yourself and your business from any liability later on. While it is also ideal that you hire an outside consultant or a professional who can help resolve discrimination-related issues in the workplace, it is also essential to train the assigned individuals. In doing so, they will be knowledgeable about how to mitigate the various problems before the company should seek outside help.

Don’ts

1. Don’t compromise your hiring process.

Discrimination at work starts at the hiring process. That is why it is essential not to compromise such a process and it should be built around quality standards that do not tolerate discrimination. Create job postings that are open for all who are interested and that are constructed with neutral wordings and are void of any slur and biased language. Hold interviews that are structured based on an apples-to-apples comparison. Provide employees with fair pay, benefits, and other perks according to experience and seniority and not based on their gender, disability, and other discriminatory bases. Throughout their employment, ensure a discrimination-free working environment that assures employees will not be wrongfully terminated because they belong to a protected class.

2. Don’t neglect to hold people accountable.

As an employer, your responsibility does not end on setting standards and training assigned individuals to deal with reports on discrimination―it is also your duty to ensure that everyone is accountable for their actions. To make a work environment discrimination-free, relying on the individuals you’ve assigned to mitigate discriminatory acts are not enough. You have to know that everyone must work together to build. You need to make everyone keep an eye to open discriminatory practices down to even the subtlest discriminatory acts.

3. Don’t forget to document any reports of discrimination.

Proper documentation of reports can play a significant role in preventing or settling any future discrimination issues at work. That is why you need to start a paper trail of all reports or create personnel files if you haven’t already or assign someone in the HR department to do it. By doing so, you are not only acknowledging the discrimination-related problems at work, but you are also sincere in your commitment to not tolerate such foul acts. Your documentation does not need to have a complicated structure; all you need is to indicate the individuals involved, a narrative of what happened, and the time and date.

Even if there are isolated cases, discrimination at the workplace should never be tolerated no matter what. Set an anti-discrimination policy that fosters a company culture and workplace environment that encourages every individual to celebrate and respect each other’s diverse backgrounds. Create a company policy now downloading and customizing any of the provided anti-discrimination policy templates and examples above.