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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



Tips for Small Businesses

Manager Training Tips

Ensuring that managers understand and consistently enforce your discrimination rules and policies may allow managers to quickly identify and resolve potential problems early, before they rise to the level of unlawful discrimination.

  • State that discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, disability, age (40 or older) or genetic information (including family medical history) is illegal and will not be tolerated. Provide definitions and examples of prohibited conduct, as needed.*
  • Describe your business's policies regarding discrimination, harassment and reasonable accommodation. If the policies are written, distribute them and explain where managers can find copies.
    • Explain any changes made to the policies since the prior training.
  • Ensure that managers understand their responsibilities, including:
    • Non-Discrimination. Managers should ensure that applicants and employees are not discriminated against or harassed because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, or gender identity), national origin, disability, age (40 or older) or genetic information (including family medical history).*
    • Reasonable Accommodation. Managers should know how to recognize and respond to requests for reasonable accommodations (changes to the way things are normally done at work) because of an applicant's or employee's medical condition or religious beliefs.*
    • Responding to Discrimination Complaints. Managers should be able to recognize and respond promptly and effectively to discrimination complaints.
    • Avoiding Retaliation. Managers should ensure that applicants, employees and former employees are not punished for reporting discrimination, participating in a discrimination investigation or lawsuit, or opposing discrimination (for example, threatening to file a discrimination complaint).
  • Describe your business's policies and procedures regarding discrimination questions or complaints.
    • Identify the individual(s) responsible for receiving, investigating and responding to discrimination questions and complaints.
    • Instruct managers to respond appropriately to discrimination or to report it to individuals who are authorized to respond.
  • Ensure that relevant managers understand how to investigate, stop and correct discrimination.
  • Explain the consequences of violating your business's non-discrimination policies.

* Federal, state and local laws may prohibit additional types of discrimination and/or require you to provide reasonable accommodations for other reasons. Federal, state and local government websites may have additional information about these laws.

See also:

What are my responsibilities under federal employment discrimination laws?

Employee Training Tips

Small Business Tip Sheets

I'm creating employee policies

Manager Responsibilities - Reasonable Accommodation Tips

Manager Responsibilities - Treating Employees Consistently