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Being Biased in the Workplace Could Cost You

workplace, favoritism

Being Biased in the Workplace Could Cost You

Posted by Payroll Data Processing in Blog Oct 23 2014

Playing favorites in the workplace just isn’t professional at all and could potentially land you in a lawsuit for discrimination. Not only can playing favorites be illegal, it can also decrease sales and productivity. Displaying favorites in the workplace minimizes incentives for those employees that actually deserves better perks than others. Your employees will notice your favoritism and will, sooner or later, stop giving maximum effort in completing their work.

Is favoritism in the workplace the same as discrimination?

Sometimes. It depends on how the employees are being favored. Most often, the favoritism comes from bad management, but if favoritism is coming from retaliation or harassment, it is no longer bad management – it is illegal behavior.

Examples of Non-Discriminatory Favoritism

People love to talk to other people when they have similar interests. Often, employees often wonder why their employer may not talk to them as much as other employees – maybe it’s because you have nothing in common with them – regardless of the reason, some employees may feel inferior and think you are playing favorites. Some examples of non-discriminatory favoritism in the workplace include:

• You communicate with certain employees more than others because you both like football
• You communicate with certain employees more because you like the same food
• You communicate with certain employees more because your children are on the same baseball team

Even though conversation with some employees and not others isn’t discriminatory, or based on favoritism, it can still be troublesome. Ways to prevent this would be:

• Discover something to talk about with the employees you normally don’t talk to
• Include everyone at lunch • Ask every employee for feedback, not just a few
• Reward and praise all employees when meeting goals in the workplace

Examples of Discrimination based on Favoritism:

• More hours to employees with the same religious views
• Giving the best assignments to only females
• Failure to promote an employee because of a disability

Favoritism based on Punishment is Discrimination:

• You don’t give great assignments to those that filed complaints – even if they are qualified for the task
• You gave an employee a different shift because you know they don’t like that particular one
• You cut back an employee’s hours because you don’t like them

There are many types of non-discriminatory and discriminatory favoritisms and all could start workplace issues. The best way to avoid potential discrimination lawsuits is to treat every employee and respect them the same in every way – even if you don’t like them because of filed claims. A good boss stays neutral in the workplace and keeps their personal feelings aside.