How to Deal With an Employee Making Racist Comments
- Step 1: Determine What Comments Have Been Made
- Step 2: Conduct an Investigation if Necessary
- Step 3: Reach Conclusions and Write Report
- Step 4: Analyze Legal and Business Exposure
- Step 5: Take Appropriate Action
- Step 6: Follow Up With Employees Who Witnessed or Who Were the Target of the Racist Comments
- Additional Resources
Author: Lisa Pierson Weinberger, Mom, Esq.
Every employer should take the necessary steps to ensure that its workplace is free from inappropriate racial remarks. To that end, employers are advised to prepare written policies prohibiting racial discrimination and harassment, conduct training programs, and investigate complaints promptly and thoroughly. However, despite these efforts, employers may still be faced with a situation where an employee or supervisor is accused of making racist comments in the workplace. The steps below explain how an employer should respond when it is concerned that an employee has engaged in such conduct.