Helping Eyecare Practices Avoid Sex & Gender Discrimination in the Workplace
By Practice Growth October 06, 2021
The Federal Law states that discrimination of any kind is illegal. This could include discrimination against a person for their gender identity, sex, race, religion, or more. In this article, we’ll cover what you need to know about avoiding sex and gender discrimination. This creates a better workplace environment for everyone.
What is Sex and Gender Discrimination?
Sex and gender discrimination occurs when an employer doesn’t treat you well because of your gender identity, sex, or sexuality. The employer should make sure that everyone feels comfortable and has an acceptable working environment. This is essential for eye care practices to get this right.
Keep in mind that discrimination can occur at any point or for various reasons. You can be discriminated against for your pay, the work you receive, when you’re laid off, or even the benefits that you receive. Discrimination often can happen during hiring as well.
Sex discrimination also can include discrimination based on pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or conditions that come with childbirth. This can sometimes be overlooked in the workplace.
How to Spot It
There are several different ways to spot sex and gender discrimination. First of all, sexual harassment should never take place at an eye care practice. Anyone can be harassed, no matter their gender identity or sex.
Promotional biases are another way to spot discrimination. Does it seem like only certain people get promotions at the practice? Or is someone more qualified for a position but is still passed over? Keep note of unnecessary demotions or layoffs that affect people of a specific sex or gender identity more often.
Additional forms of sex and gender discrimination in the workplace may include gender pay gaps and incorrect use of gender pronouns, especially if done intentionally.
If you’re unsure of how to act around your coworkers or employees in a gender-specific context, make sure to take more time to talk with them. You’ll want to determine whether they feel they’re being harassed or are uncomfortable for other reasons.
Sometimes, it can be very challenging to spot discrimination. Always take a moment to step back and assess the situation. Then, make sure to respond accordingly. If you don’t know what to do, you can always reach out to your HR or operations manager. They’ll often know the appropriate steps to take and point you in the right direction. This direction better include calling an employment attorney as soon as possible.
Gender and sex discrimination has several negative effects. While in the practice, watch out for these signs:
● Low self-esteem
● Coworkers being isolated from others
● General tension
● Workplace arguments or conflict
● Workers feeling unsafe or nervous
Everyone reacts differently to discrimination, so it’s best to discuss it openly to determine where it’s coming from. Talking with the practice and holding meetings will help keep everyone up to date on harassment and discrimination and how it can impact others. You might even consider bringing in a company or consultant who specializes in avoiding workplace discrimination.
Providing a Safe Workplace For Employees
All employees have the right to work in a safe space. You’ll want to report any type of discrimination to human resources or your boss as soon as you can. If you’re in a management position at your practice, make sure that you handle it immediately. You always want to handle these cases seriously and with the attention they deserve- everyone should feel comfortable at your practice.
To create a discrimination free workplace, you’ll need to do all of the following at the practice:
● Put up flyers and notices about proper workplace conduct
● Hold mandatory discrimination training and meetings
● Settle reports quickly
● Always take complaints into account immediately.
● Always follow up on complaints
● Keep records of discrimination
● Practice prevention
You’ll need to provide a discrimination-free workplace for everyone. You want to ensure that everyone knows that your practice doesn’t tolerate any discrimination. To do this, you’ll have to react to every situation and complaint that you receive immediately.
You also want to report any cases of discrimination that you find. Doing so ensures that the problems are taken care of right away and the proper measures are taken to keep all of the workers feeling comfortable.
The best way to avoid lawsuits is to prevent discrimination in the first place. You can reduce the odds of a lawsuit by taking all the proper measures stated in your practice’s policy quickly and efficiently. Then, make sure that everyone has the proper training and is willing to follow it.
Overall, creating a safe environment for all of your eye care workers ensures that there won’t be any lawsuits. If one does take place, it’s important that the attorneys can see that every response to the discrimination was correct and swift.
Who Does Gender Discrimination Affect?
Sex and gender discrimination can impact everyone. Many employees of every gender identity and sex are discriminated against each year. Often, it’s not always obvious that this type of behavior is taking place at a practice. If you’ve been a victim, you understand how frustrating and scary that can be.
Remember that this type of discrimination can impact anyone- you’ll want to stay vigilant and ensure it’s not happening in your eye care practice. That way, your employees can stay motivated, happy, and productive- leading to your patients receiving the care levels that they deserve.
Overall, you should always take reports of gender and sex discrimination very seriously. You don’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable at your practice.
To summarize, this type of discrimination can happen anywhere, even at your eyecare practice. To prevent it, you’ll need to make sure that all of the employees are properly aware of the situation and have the training they need to respond to acts of discrimination.
The more information you and your employees have relating to gender and sex discrimination, the better you’ll be able to respond to it.
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