These federal laws are complimented and often strengthened by a host of state laws regulating discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Ultimately, such behavior is not only unethical, but can lead to severe legal and financial repercussions for a company and its managers.
Employers have an obligation to ensure compliance with EEOC guidelines in the workplace, and to define the role of managers in this process. They can accomplish this, first and foremost, by keeping abreast of all of the applicable state and federal antidiscrimination laws. Training programs and workshops for managers should be designed and held on a regular basis in order to reinforce acceptable norms and behaviors for managers and coworkers. Employee and management handbooks should also clearly incorporate methods and approaches to maintaining a work environment that ensures equal access to opportunities for all current and prospective employees regardless of their immutable characteristics. The culture of the organization is often set from the top down, and this is an area where leadership by example will go a long way toward maintaining compliance with EEOC guidelines.
Implementation of the ADA has affected the workplace in numerous way