Discrimination in the Workplace

      Discrimination in the Workplace

      This is a topic that often gets overlooked because you might be thinking, we don’t have discrimination in our workplace, everyone gets along great! And that’s great news!

      But sometimes discrimination can be subtle. A small joke here, a little comment there. We just wanted to shed some light on an important and sometimes overlooked topic.

      What is Discrimination in the Workplace?

      Discrimination in a workplace happens whenever an employee or a job candidate is treated unfairly due to their age, sex, disability, race, gender, national origin, religion or even pregnancy status. 

      The Four Types of Discrimination 

      1. Direct Discrimination: When someone has been treated differently or worse than another employee or job candidate due to an underlying reason.

      2. Indirect Discrimination: Is less obvious type of discrimination and usually unintentional 

      3. Harassment: When someone is conveying negative behavior towards a fellow employee. 

      4. Victimisation: When someone becomes a victim of harmful behavior because they may have made an allegation of discrimination or supported a complaint of discrimination. 

      The Don'ts

      Violation of someone's dignity creates a toxic work environment. 

      DO NOT:  

      Treat people differently, put them at a disadvantage, because of characteristics unrelated to their capability and work performance.

      Discriminate against or exclude people for "practicality" reasons, e.g. pregnant mothers, single parents, nursing mothers. 

      Bullying, harassment, undue influence or exert pressure on an employee/co-worker to reach YOUR goals. 

      The Do's 

      It is crucial for companies to follow these certain preventive guidelines for the success of their business and employees.

       DO:

      Follow and implement the Golden Rule.

       Respect cultural and racial differences in the workplace.

      Be professional in conduct of speech.

      Treat everybody fairly and with dignity

      Refuse to initiate, participate, or condone discrimination and harassment.

      Avoid race-based or culturally offensive humor or pranks. When in doubt, leave it outside the workplace.

      Be proactive. Report incidents of inappropriate, discriminatory, harassing or abusive behavior to your supervisor, Human Resources department, union, or management.

      It is important to remember that everyone is different, and everyone has different situations and circumstance we may not be aware of. It is our job to accept and respect the differences of our employees and co-workers. It is also our job to be better allies and to educate ourselves in the different cultures and experiences in our workplace (and not by asking our coworkers to help us in that research).

      Different perspectives create better insight and decisions since they do not limit our views, assumptions and possibilities. By doing your part in staying educated, you reduce the four types of discrimination and create a healthy and safe work environment for your employees and co-workers.

      It's also important to have a Discrimination Policy in place at your clinic. It will give a clear outline of what can be expected if a situation would arise at your practice and how it will be handled.

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