Hidden Costs of Discrimination in the Workplace for Employers

A woman holds a sign that reads "stop harassment."Nowadays, many people want to work in a relaxed workplace with casual dress and open floorplans. Even if that isn’t your style, people typically work better with those they see as individuals, those they have formed a personal relationship. Unfortunately, silly banter can cross a line of common courtesy and even legal protections. 

Though your HR department may not have a steady stream of complaints, there still may be an underlying issue at your organization. If your business avoids discrimination training instead hoping that employees will comply with organizational policies, you may have a problem. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), there were 76,418 cases of workplace discrimination in 2018, leading to hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Keep reading to learn about the often unseen impacts on an organization due to harassment and discrimination.

Greater Employee Absence

Many discriminated employees do not file grievances with their HR departments. However, the stress these situations bring lead to employees missing work and a general drop in productivity. With tight workforces, any missing staffer leads to more work and thus more stress for the rest of the team. Thus your entire team will struggle when anyone experiences discrimination.

Diversity Decreases

When a team begins working together due to shared values, that is a beautiful thing. However, if their shared values come from a lack of diversity, your team will be limited. Diversity in your workforce builds in the flexibility of thought, innovation, adaptive problem-solving, and dynamic creative strategies that pushes your organization forward. Teams with strong diversity help build toward a more competitive product or service you can offer your customers. All these opportunities dry up when diversity decreases in the face of a workplace rife with discrimination.

Higher Turnover

When discrimination and harassment continue at your workplace, your organization will experience a brain and talent drain. If someone leaves due to feeling unsafe or uncomfortable at work, you have lost talent that may be difficult to replace. Hiring new talent means a great investment in terms of interviewing, onboarding, and training the new employee. 

Lost Market Share

We live in an age of transparency. Individuals can hold multi-national corporations accountable armed with the power of social media. A company that defends an abuser or fumbles explaining a lack of good judgment will end up losing customers. The public now can voice their beliefs by choosing which companies they do business with. 

Moving Toward a Better Work Environment

The stakes are high for allowing discrimination into your workplace, but you can be proactive. Raise awareness with your staff and require ongoing training. Take nothing for granted. Take reports of discrimination seriously. Make sure your leadership team sets a strong example of acceptable and appropriate behavior. To learn more about creating a safe work environment, get in touch with legal experts like those at Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, & Rivers who specialize in discrimination law. Our seasoned attorneys strive to protect everyone from abuse in the workplace and their lives. 

Give the legal team at Pitt, McGehee, Palmer, & Rivers a call today at (248) 939-5081to discuss your concerns.

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