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Supporting Diverse Employees in the Workplace

June 25, 2020 | posted by Abacus Payroll

Being an inclusive and accepting workplace is not only right for societal reasons but important for your business.  Having a team of individuals of different races, genders, sexualities, religions, and more can help bring in fresh perspectives and ideas to your business.  A diverse workforce can better understand different customers and what they may be looking for in your business.

Create an Inclusive Workplace

An important aspect of having an inclusive business is celebrating diversity. Employees come from all different backgrounds and that is something that should be commended, not discouraged. Spend time working to understand each other’s differences.  Everyone should feel comfortable to be themselves at work. Make sure your employee handbook emphasizes inclusion and its importance.  Form policies to ban discrimination and offensive comments towards coworkers. Consider implementing a “zero-tolerance” policy to make all employees aware of the seriousness of the situation. Host sensitivity training to help everyone understand micro and macro aggressions. This will help to make new and old employees aware of the rules surrounding diversity in your business. Review your hiring process and interview questions to ensure inclusivity and rule out any unconscious biases. Lastly, make sure you, as an employer, are offering the same benefits to all employees.

Protecting Workers’ Rights

Make yourself aware of the different laws protecting employees’ rights. Stay up to date on changes occurring to remain compliant with laws surrounding discrimination at work.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act:

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal to discriminate against someone in the workplace on the basis of race, color, nationality, religion, and sexuality. Just recently, on June 15, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it violates Title VII for an employer to fire someone based on the fact that the employee is gay or transgender. By extending these civil rights protections to the LGBTQ community, this landmark ruling affects millions of workers nationwide.

The Equality Act:

The Equality Act protects LGBTQ individuals’ rights in key areas of life including employment, public spaces and services, housing, federally funded programs, credit, education, and jury service. The Equality Act amended existing civil rights laws to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics.

LGBTQ Initiatives

Supporting LGBTQ individuals in the workplace has never been more imperative. Begin by creating a clear mission for diversity in the workplace. Take discrimination incredibly seriously to convey to all employees that everyone is to be accepted and supported in your business. Develop support programs to help all employees better understand one another.

Acknowledging Implicit Bias

It is expected that you may have implicit biases as all individuals have prejudices. However, it is important to acknowledge and understand the biases you have and then take steps to better yourself and understand those around you.  This is crucial to creating an inclusive work environment.  The bottom line is, be conscious of unconscious bias.

Need help with diversity in the workplace?

The good news is you don’t have to go at it alone. The Abacus HR Help Center can provide you with the tools to make diversity and inclusivity a priority in your business. The HR Help Center has resources for equal opportunity and harassment (EEOC), training for fostering diversity in the workplace, interview questions to ask and preventing interview bias, updates on pay equity, salary history, and banning the box, information about ADA, FMLA, pregnancy and religious accommodations, managing a multi-generational workplace, and more.

Contact Abacus Payroll, Inc. today to get started with a seamless payroll and HR solution. Fill out our contact form to get a quote or give us a call at 856.667.6225.


Additional Reading:

5 Ways to Diversify Your Workplace:

Updating Your Employer Handbook:


About the Author: Abacus Payroll

Abacus Payroll, Inc. is a leading provider of payroll solutions for businesses of all sizes. Whether yours is a family-owned small business or a national corporation, we provide payroll, tax and other financial services on time and at an affordable price. Unlike other payroll providers, Abacus Payroll will assign your very own payroll specialist who will understand your payroll needs inside and out. So no more speaking to a different person each time, no more sitting on hold for hours and most importantly no more missed deadlines! Contact us today to see how we can help your business. You can count on us.