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Tips for Small Businesses

General Non-Discrimination Policy Tips

  • State that discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, disability, age (40 or older) or genetic information (including family medical history) is illegal and will not be tolerated. Provide definitions and examples of prohibited conduct, as needed.*
  • State that you will provide reasonable accommodations (changes to the way things are normally done at work) to applicants and employees who need them for medical or religious reasons, as required by law.*
  • Explain how employees can report discrimination.
    • If possible, designate more than one person to receive and respond to discrimination complaints or questions.
    • Consider permitting employees to report discrimination to any manager.
  • State that employees will not be punished for reporting discrimination, participating in a discrimination investigation or lawsuit or opposing discrimination.
  • State that you will protect the confidentiality of employees who report discrimination or participate in a discrimination investigation, to the greatest possible extent.
  • Require managers and other employees with human resources responsibilities to respond appropriately to discrimination or to report it to individuals who are authorized to respond.
  • Provide for prompt, thorough and impartial investigation of complaints.
  • Provide for prompt and effective corrective and preventative action when necessary.
  • Consider requiring that employees who file internal complaints be notified about the status of their complaint, the results of the investigation and any corrective and preventative action taken.
  • Describe the consequences of violating the non-discrimination policy.

* Federal, state and local laws may prohibit additional types of discrimination and/or require you to provide reasonable accommodations for other reasons. Federal, state and local government websites may have additional information about these laws.

See also:

Harassment Policy Tips
Reasonable Accommodation Policy Tips
Leave Policy Tips