What steps can an employer take to prevent sex discrimination?

Author: Shannon C. Johnson

The most important step an employer can take to prevent sex discrimination is to have a well-written and detailed discrimination policy or EEO policy that specifically prohibits sex discrimination. The policy should include reporting and resolution procedures in the event an employee needs to file a complaint. All employees should be required to sign an acknowledgement that they received and understood the sex discrimination policy. Frequent employee training and education is also extremely beneficial in preventing sex discrimination in the workplace. An employer should make sure that all supervisors, managers and HR personnel strictly enforce the policy prohibiting sex discrimination. Such management employees should also be instructed to thoroughly document the legitimate business reasons and circumstances for all employment decisions.

An employer should also take steps to prevent sex discrimination in hiring and recruiting potential employees and use gender-neutral terms in job advertisements and postings. An employer should also avoid interview questions that discriminate on the basis of sex and avoid asking about topics such as caregiving responsibilities and marital status.

An employer can also prevent sex discrimination by avoiding gender stereotyping in the assignment of job duties and responsibilities, as well as in the implementation of a dress code or appearance and grooming policy.