Anti-Discrimination Policies Are Poorly Communicated, Suggests New i4cp Study

Most companies report that employee claims are frequent

SEATTLE, WA (January 22, 2008) - According to a recent study conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp), 43% of organizations reported that they have faced Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) protected class harassment charges, discrimination charges or litigation at some point. However, most organizations (82%) feel their current policies and the communication of those policies to employees provide adequate protection from litigation issues.

The study also found that an overwhelming majority of organizations take an active anti-discrimination stance. According to the study, a full 90% of companies have a formal anti-discrimination policy in place; and the vast majority (80%) rate anti-discrimination training as either somewhat or very important.

"Discrimination policies are often well documented and comprehensive to serve as a buffer against litigation," said Eric Davis, i4cp's analyst on Race Discrimination. "Shortcomings in the communication of these policies are where we see problems. Training of front line managers is not reinforced with any frequency. There may also be difficulty in communicating policy to employees in geographically dispersed worksites, part-time employees, seasonal employees and outside contractors."

Overall, companies address a wide range of discrimination issues in their policies, ranging from race, gender and age to disabilities, pregnancy, sexual orientation and military service. When asked to rate the categories with regard to importance in the communication of their anti-discrimination policies, race was the top issue listed, with 93% of respondents rating it as either somewhat important or very important. Closely following are gender issues (88%), religion (85%), age (84%) and disabilities (82%). The most common discrimination complaints reported by companies revolved around the issues of race, sexual harassment, gender and age.

The Anti-Discrimination Practitioner Pulse Survey was conducted by i4cp, in conjunction with, in December 2007 and had 258 responding companies.

About i4cp, inc.

Building on the 35-year history of its predecessor (the Human Resource Institute), the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp.) improves corporate productivity through a combination of research, community, tools and technology focused on the management of human capital. With more than 100 leading organizations as members, including many of the best-known companies in the world, i4cp draws upon one of the industry's largest and most experienced research teams and executives-in-residence to produce more than 10,000 pages annually of rapid, reliable and respected research and analysis surrounding all facets of the management of people in organizations. Additionally, i4cp identifies and analyzes the upcoming major issues and future trends that are expected to influence workforce productivity and provides member clients with tools and technology to execute leading-edge strategies and "next practices" on these issues and trends. i4cp is a for-profit company with its headquarters in Seattle, WA, and research offices in St. Petersburg, FL.

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Greg Pernula
Director of Research Services, i4cp, inc.
(727) 345-2226
Erik Samdahl
Erik is the head of marketing at i4cp, and has nearly 20 years in the market research and human capital research industry.