We would all like to think that we’ve moved past bias and discrimination in the workplace but unfortunately it’s still alive and well, no matter how many laws we pass to try to control the problem. It’s said that social change takes a long time to take hold, although one thing is for sure: awareness and education are the best ways to move forward.
Discriminatory actions based on issues such as age and blindness are becoming an even bigger problem as we move forward. Discover why age discrimination and blind bias are all too common, and what HR departments need to do to put a stop to these illegal and immoral practices.
The Problem of Blind Bias
As capable as visually-impaired people can be, blind bias is still a problem in the workplace, with many employers still expressing skeptical attitudes towards hiring blind employees. They feel that hiring a blind worker will cost them more, reduce productivity, and open the door to safety concerns as they will be more prone to accidents.
One excuse that is used is that those who are legally blind are eligible for SSDI benefits, but the truth is, many of these workers would rather be working. In addition, current research shows that they are every bit as capable as sighted workers and no more likely to have accidents.
Age Discrimination in the Workplace
Another common issue in the workplace today is age discrimination. People of advanced age, despite having a laundry list of transferable skills and vast experience in their fields, often have great difficulty finding work. Some reasons that are offered for this difficulty are a perception that older workers won’t stay on as long as they near retirement, that they won’t perform as highly as younger workers, that they cost more and aren’t technologically adept.
Again, however, research shows none of the above to be true. In fact, senior workers tend to be more committed to their jobs due to a different work ethic than younger workers. They tend to have unique and experienced outlooks on their job that can greatly benefit companies.
In addition, the perception that seniors are bad with technology doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. Older people have taken to newer technologies, with a range of online communities and social media groups dedicated to senior users.
What Can Be Done?
In the end, besides the fact that discrimination is illegal, the best way to fight these practices is education. Employers need to understand that senior workers and blind workers are, in fact, untapped resources that can greatly benefit companies. They present no greater danger for safety, turnover, or performance than any other worker, and in fact bring many benefits to the table, from experience to a unique perspective on goods and services provided.
Staying in compliance with hiring laws as well as employee engagement and retention practices requires cutting-edge knowledge and resources. For many, hiring a human resources outsourcing and consulting firm is the answer to these issues. QuadWest has many years of experience in this area and we can help you. Give us a call for more information and to learn how we can take your HR services to the next level today!