Following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on Memorial Day of this year, the Black Lives Matter Movement has surged nationwide.
Employers can and should make space to support employees and to affirm that Black lives matter everywhere, including the workplace. Some of the best ways to do this include:
1. Speak Out:
Employers should make their support for the movement known to employees and the public, generally. Crafting a considered and supportive statement is a great way to let employees know they are valued, no matter their race.
2. Listen Up:
The Black Lives Matter movement stemmed from decade of silencing Black voices. Consider hosting a ‘townhall’ meeting to ensure your workplace is a safe place for Black voices to be heard. It’s also critical to have a system for reporting and investigating racist or discriminatory behaviors in the workplace.
3. Step Back:
Remember that employers do not control employees’ actions outside the workplace, and employees should not be punished for participating in lawful protests. However, it is fair to step in where an employee’s conduct violates company policies regarding tolerance and inclusivity. For example, an employer may discipline an employee for posting hate speech on social media.
If you have questions on how to address the Black Lives Matter movement contact us for a free, 30-minute consultation with an employment attorney.