Would you buy from a firm found guilty of discrimination? Probably not and that’s the fear of Zales jewelry store today.
Claims of discrimination can severely damage an organization’s reputation and brand. Consumers who have options would rather buy from those who have sterling reputations—not from companies’ accused of illegal discrimination toward their own customers.
In this case, a woman accused Piercing Pagoda, a division of Zales Delaware, of discrimination and the Maine Human Rights Commission and the Cumberland County Superior Court agreed, ordering the company to pay $100,000 in damages.
Zales has denied the claim, but the damage is done. People have been hurt, reputations harmed, and the company must now deal with the ugly headlines and long term impact on its business, workforce and customer base.
Advice for Employers: Adopt a zero tolerance policy on discrimination. Be clear to your workers that any act of discrimination—whether in your employment practices or how you deal with others, will never be tolerated. Foster a respectful environment and only hire quality staff. Train your employees and be vigilant in ensuring that you maintain a respectful workplace. And if claims are made, rapidly address it.
For more information on preventing discrimination, click here.