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Small businesses and discrimination: Creating a workplace policy

As a small business owner, you have a lot to worry about. Running a business is difficult, and one of the biggest challenges can be human resources. It’s an area that encompasses a range of issues, including creating an anti-discrimination policy for your workplace.

How do you create plan? What needs to be covered? It can be difficult to even know where to start.

An important first step is looking at federal requirements for small businesses. Employers have a duty to follow specific rules regarding discrimination, however those rules change based on the number of employees. If you have 1 to 15 employees, there are fewer regulations to follow, but if you have more than 15 the rules are stricter.

Regardless of the specific rules, it’s valuable for any business owner to create a policy that is followed by every employee, but what should be in that plan?

Set rules

It is important for your employees to know what discrimination is, and how to avoid it. Having clearly defined rules that are readily available to employees can help avoid issues later on. Make sure your guidelines encompass all forms of discrimination, including but not limited to race, religion, sex, nationality, age and disability.

Follow the rules

Having rules in place isn’t enough. Those rules need to be followed. As a business owner, it’s important you know and follow the rules, but you also need to be sure managers and supervisors are following the guidelines as well.

Train employees

Along those same lines, it is important to train employees on what constitutes discrimination. Every employee represents you and your business, and it is especially important that supervisors are properly trained.

Ultimately, the burden of creating and following the rules falls on the business owner. Creating the right guidelines is your first step to avoiding discrimination in your workplace.

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