A hot subject in everyday conversation and a nail-biting idea for most company owners is a lot to understand about discrimination before navigating one of these cases internally. Whether based on gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or any other protected status, every version has a depth of empathy and patience needed.
Regardless of the type of case, some steps have to be undertaken to get your office back in order and your employees comfortable again. Nobody deserves to be disrespected for anything they can’t control.
Talk to The Victim
If your company has a human resources department, they should be first in line with your employee. The victim should be allowed to say their part on what they experienced without judgment or coercion.
Don’t try to talk over the victim or blame them for playing some interest in what happened. Just listen. When they’re done, ask what they’d like done about the current situation. You can take it to a certain point, but they may have to file a police report after that.
Talk To The Perpetrator
Whoever is being accused of discrimination should be allowed to say their piece if you didn’t witness what happened. If they admit what the victim says happened, you can skip to the step where you go over information thoroughly. If their side of the story is drastically different, you should take down everything they say verbatim. Try not to allow any finger-pointing or shouting over this; it’s best to keep them separated.
Find Witnesses Either Way
Regardless of what you think happened or what each party says, try to find evidence of what happened. This decision may be difficult since many would rather stay out of the situation, but you should clarify that their testimony is necessary. Get detailed accounts from each witness, and attempt to ensure that they’re unbiased.
This truth may seem hard to keep track of, but if any opinions are starkly different from the majority, they may not be giving an honest account of what happened. It would help if you still wrote it down, but take it with a grain of salt.
Go Over Information Thoroughly
Review everything you can about the situation. Double-check your own biases, and ensure that you aren’t leaning one way or another because of your personal feelings. If you need an outside view, you can get economic consulting in Washington, DC to help you further look into what happened.
Punish and Re-educate
Although the word punish may seem harsh, those who misbehaved should be taken down a peg for what they’ve done. Whether it’s losing out on some of the office’s perks until they’ve completed sensitivity training or not allowing them any group projects or overtime until they’ve shown they have changed.
Focus on education and training and clarify that you don’t want that kind of behaviour in your company. If the action was bad enough to warrant it, consider firing the employee to give your company a chance at a fresh start. Although you can’t undo what happened to your employee, you can make sure it doesn’t happen again.