Overview: While having a diverse workforce is an admirable goal, an employer's discussion of it should go beyond mere lip service. HR management of diversity should emphasize to senior executives how diversity and inclusion initiatives impact the employer's bottom line.
These initiatives should include strategic recruiting and outreach efforts. Reliance on word-of-mouth to fill job openings may have the effect of excluding minority candidates or qualified individuals with disabilities from the process. As a result, an employer may wish to ask a search firm to provide a diverse set of candidates or select organizations that will make it more likely the employer will attract these types of applicants.
Employers also should note that diversity does not simply include attracting candidates from all sorts of backgrounds, but being able to retain them as well. Toward that end, employers among other things should:
An employer that is more open and flexible with its recruiting, hiring and retention practices has a greater chance of achieving a diverse workplace.
Trends: One emerging area in diversity involves accommodating working mothers who wish to express breast milk in quiet rooms during the work day.
Another developing area surrounds religious accommodation issues. This may include accommodating an employee's obligation to pray during the workday or other requests. However, the employer is not obligated to provide an accommodation if doing so would disrupt its operations.
Author: David B. Weisenfeld, JD, Legal Editor
This podcast features an in-depth look at the dizzying array of new California employment laws with Littler Mendelson shareholder Bruce Sarchet, with a particular focus on sexual harassment plus a novel mandate for diversity.
California will become the first state to require publicly held corporations to have at least one woman on their board of directors under a novel law which includes steep penalty provisions.
Guidance from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) gives employers more latitude in drafting workplace rules, including rules regarding workplace civility.
XpertHR offers various tools and resources to assist an employer in managing generational diversity.
This chart highlights the approximate birth years, nicknames, characteristics and values of the five generations in the workplace.
Employment glossary definition of Diversity.
Employment glossary definition of Inclusion.
Updated to include references to Generation Z.
This How To details the steps an employer should take to reduce the risk of unconscious bias influencing its recruiting and hiring decisions.
HR considerations about the benefits of diversity.