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Sterling Employment Law

Spotlight now on companies’ efforts to promote culture change

Fundamental fairness and evenhanded policies toward all employees have always been aspirational goals of companies in Michigan and across the country

Candidly, some enterprises do better than others.

Select companies garner consistently high marks from their workers for promoting inclusionary and value-laden environments.

Conversely, others recurrently find themselves at odds with workers voicing a litany of complaints. Those often spotlight discriminatory and harassing behaviors, as well as illegal company retaliation against lawful employee conduct.

Business principals at the helm of workplaces where employee discrimination is a known problem often see their enterprises being embroiled in settlement negotiations or adversarial conflict in court. That is understandably a top-tier concern, as is the negative publicity that invariably accompanies bad news.

A recent Forbes article notes that the current unrest rocking the country spells perhaps a signal moment for American companies.

Namely, it forces their consideration of the type of work environment they would ideally like to have, and the strategies necessarily employed to achieve it. The Forbes piece offers up some recommendations that can help an employer “take meaningful action to tackle racism in the workplace.” Enumerated tips include these:

  • Foster meaningful and ongoing workplace communication on racial discrimination via discussions, seminars, relevant training and employee-led activities
  • Embed processes and policies with real teeth, promoted by “expectations that help create a culture rooted in diversity and inclusion”
  • Promote awareness and education by taking company-level stances on key social issues
  • Prioritize at management level a more diverse workplace, perhaps via the implementation of so-called “blind hiring”

We will have more to say about this topic in a future blog post.

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Sterling Employment Law

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