As a supervisor, you are often faced with personnel decisions: Should you hire this applicant? Whom should you promote? What corrective action should you take with an employee?
Every one of your personnel-related actions is affected by EEO law. If you violate EEO law, the University must bear the responsibility. To prevent such violations, it's not enough to simply know that the law forbids discrimination. You should know the specific kinds of discrimination to avoid in your day-to-day activities with job applicants and staff. Your job involves many different personnel functions, including hiring, training, promotion, termination, and others. Below are examples of actions you can take to fulfill EEO/AA responsibilities:
- Ensure bias-free selection processes by forming diverse selection committees, evaluating candidates on job-related criteria, and completing and maintaining necessary records such as the Interview Data Form.
- Promote accountability for EEO/AA by ensuring that responsibilities in this area are clearly indicated in the applicable job descriptions of managers and supervisors who report to you.
- Evaluate the performance of your supervisory staff in implementing established EEO/AA responsibilities.
- Educate yourself by participating in relevant training and education programs on campus and encouraging subordinate staff with EEO/AA responsibilities to do the same.
- Provide reasonable accommodations such as assistive devices, job restructuring, and site modification for disabled staff members.
- Maintain a hospitable work environment; ethnic jokes and harassment of any kind should not be tolerated.
- Review all personnel activities for potential differential impacts on different groups and unintentional bias in such personnel actions as selection, salary increases, promotion, reclassification, layoff, corrective action, training, and termination.
- Encourage and invest in staff development, ensuring that all staff have access to opportunities.
- Make sure all staff are informed of the University's non-discrimination policy and the procedures for resolving discrimination complaints.
- Questions to Ask Yourself:
- When hiring, do you evaluate the job vacancy listing to ensure that the requirements listed are job-related? Do you target recruitment to underutilized minorities and women when there are affirmative action goals? Do you keep written records of all people interviewed and are you certain the information recorded relates to the individual's ability to perform the duties of the position?
- Do you know the promotional potential of your employees, including women and minorities? Do they have a realistic assessment of their strengths and weaknesses through the performance appraisal process? Do they have opportunities for staff development? Are there practices that might restrict promotional opportunities for minorities or women? (Example: Do you give travel assignments only to men, when travel experience is a requirement for advancing to higher level positions?)
- Have you analyzed the training needs of your staff? Have you given all staff similar opportunities for training and development?
- How to Avoid Complaints:
- While there is no guaranteed way to avoid employee dissatisfaction with some part of a job, if you follow the above guidelines, the number of complaints can be greatly reduced. Try to look at your affirmative action efforts not as a zero-sum game in which one person's gain is another person's loss, but as an important human resource process that expands opportunities for everyone.