Gender Bias Claims Remain Steady

Gender discrimination claims continue despite the implementation of policies addressing the issue at many companies.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that the percentage of gender discrimination claims has not declined over the past ten years, remaining between 29% and 31.5%.

Employers can make changes to prevent gender discrimination charges.  The first step is to develop a simple and effective policy, and to make sure the policy is adhered to.

Also, when multiple employees are vying for a promotion, communicate with the ones who do not receive it why they did not.  Outline their qualifications and explain why the other employee was better suited for the position.  Although this conversation may be unpleasant, it makes a big difference helping people understand why the decision was made.

Once a discrimination complaint is made, meet with the employee to find out what the problem is and what they expect to be done about it.  Employers should properly investigate the allegation and determine if there is any merit to it.  If there has been some unequal treatment, it “should be resolved right away and appropriate action taken to stop it.”

From Business Insurance, February 21, 2011 issue, pp. 1 and 18.


 Avoiding Gender Discrimination

Steps that employers can take to prevent gender discrimination charges or address them once they have been made include:

·         Establish a clear, simply stated policy.

·         Avoid gender stereotypes, such as assuming a man is the family’s breadwinner.

·         Train employees on avoiding gender discrimination at least annually.

·         Establish a complaint procedure that employees can use without fear of repercussions.

·         Conduct pay audits to uncover and address unexplained pay disparities.

·         Establish good communications to explain employment decisions that could cause worker disgruntlement.

·         Make a concerted effort to hire a diversified workforce.

·         Once a charge is made, act promptly to correct any disparate treatment.

·         If the employee who has filed a complaint still is in the workforce, avoid unlawful retaliation but do not give special treatment.

Quoted from Business Insurance, February 21, 2011 issue, p. 18.