Employers have a duty to ensure their business doesn’t discriminate against anyone and this applies to customers, clients and workers. This means implementing effective and impartial recruitment and HR processes, especially when it comes to workplace discrimination.
As Lotas Legal’s expertise in workplace discrimination law show, there are a variety of ways that discrimination can occur in a working environment. Even if discrimination occurs unintentionally, it can have a devastating impact on the people affected. Furthermore, a discrimination claim can have a long-lasting impact on businesses too. To learn more, take a look at these four ways a workplace discrimination claim can damage your brand:
1. Staff Morale
When discrimination occurs, it affects staff as a whole. Even when one individual has been discriminated against, the entire workforce can be indirectly affected. If the discrimination becomes public knowledge, other staff may feel disillusioned or disappointed in their employer.
In turn, this has a negative impact on staff morale, which has a subsequent effect on motivation, productivity and efficiency. Ultimately, just one incidence of discrimination can have a companywide impact that affects the organization for months or years to come.
2. Financial Loss
The law gives people the right to take legal action against an employer if they experience workplace discrimination. If someone makes a claim against you, you may be compelled to negotiate a settlement to avoid the case going to court. Alternatively, you might decide to defend the claim and mount a legal defense. If so, you’ll have legal expenses to consider, as well as the cost of compensation if you lose the case.
This can be significant for any commercial organization, but it can be particularly damaging for small and medium-sized enterprises which may not have the financial resources required to resolve these types of claims.
3. Lost Sales
If your customers or clients become aware of discriminatory conduct or practices within your organization, you can expect to lose a significant amount in sales or contracts. People won’t want to buy or trade with an organization that discriminates against people, regardless of what type of discrimination occurs. While you may work hard to acquire customers and clients, it only takes one example of discrimination to lose them and the revenue they bring in.
4. Negative Image
If your brand becomes associated with discrimination, it will become part of your image, whether you intend it to or not. While rebranding might go some way to minimizing the damage, this can be a costly process in itself. Furthermore, even extensive rebranding efforts may not be enough to fully rectify your business after a highly publicized discrimination claim.
Protecting Your Business and Your Workers
By making sure that your workplace and organization does not tolerate discriminatory conduct, you can protect both your brand and your workforce. Introducing appropriate staff training and ensuring you have processes designed to ensure equality in the workplace are simple yet effective ways to be proactive about preventing discrimination within your organization. When you take steps to create a more equal working environment, you’ll be safeguarding your brand and your business, but you’ll also be playing your part in putting an end to workplace discrimination too.