Understanding Discrimination: How an Ethics Hotline Can Help

Discrimination continues to be a top concern for company owners and department managers in 2023. However, today’s instances of discrimination might look different from violations and risks five or ten years ago. To ensure you’re leveraging every tool and practicing every best practice, it’s important to understand the emerging risks and today’s definitions of discrimination. And because the challenges will always be changing, it’s just another reason to consider implementing an ethics hotline.

Today’s Definitions of Discrimination

If it’s been a while since your organization last updated its discrimination policies, definitions, and guidelines included, it’s best to revisit them. Be certain any and all marginalized considerations and language are represented to reassure your teams of inclusivity. And be transparent about your company’s zero-tolerance stance regarding discrimination in any of these areas:

· Gender

· Age

· Disability

· Religion

· Race

· Marital Status

· Familial Status

· Sexual Orientation

· Membership or Affiliation

If you determine your company does need to reissue a revised version of your discrimination policies, consider reinforcing them with an anonymous ethics hotline for reporting.

Employment Discrimination

Employment discrimination is a far more complicated risk today than ever before. Sure, you can establish recruiting and onboarding guidelines to ensure equity among applicants. But there are other dynamics, including the use of AI and automated systems, that can bring both benefits and additional discriminatory risks. Today’s hiring market is an entirely new Civil Rights frontier. And while you might be confident in your ability to remain equitable in person, you still might have digital processes sifting candidates with AI and automations. New risks mean new concerns. And it’s the ethics hotline, which can be made available to applicants and those outside your company, that can ensure you’re on top of any potential violations, digital or otherwise.

Customer Service Discrimination

Don’t forget that discrimination isn’t just an internal company issue. It’s also one that can negatively impact your brand externally. Discrimination is often reported at the customer or vendor level, where individuals are marginalized in bidding processes, with product or service delivery, or post-sale care. Be sure to include language and guidelines within your ethics policies that address external discrimination risks and procedures for reporting. And use an ethics hotline to follow through because even those outside of your company can use a hotline to report discrimination.

March 1st Is Zero Discrimination Day

March 1st, 2023, marks Zero Discrimination Day, an international movement and event that promotes inclusivity and diversity in all forms. Let this month be the month you enact change and improve awareness in your workplace. And you can reinforce any new training, sentiments, or company initiatives by implementing an ethics hotline. Send a message to everyone within your organization that you take discrimination seriously and encourage the use of this safe and anonymous reporting tool.

Take a closer look at your company’s policies regarding discrimination. And use this time wisely to implement updates and improvements, including the facilitation of an ethics hotline! Ethical Advocate can be your guide – give our team a call to discuss how we can help you leverage every benefit of a hotline, including reducing risks of discrimination.