In the complex tapestry of workplace dynamics, there exists an often unspoken advantage known as the beauty premium or “pretty privilege.” This phenomenon refers to the societal bias toward individuals who are perceived as conventionally attractive. Over twenty years of scholarly articles show an unconscious preference to interact with people we may find attractive, even in the employment context during the hiring process and throughout employment. While it may seem superficial, pretty privilege can significantly impact one’s career trajectory, opportunities, and overall experience in the professional world.Continue Reading Pretty-Privilege: The Ugly Truth About Appearance Discrimination

In our ever-evolving world, fostering cultural sensitivity is paramount for minimizing legal risks and creating inclusive, respectful work environments. Language plays a crucial role in shaping our perceptions, and unfortunately, some words used in everyday conversation may perpetuate stereotypes and contribute to cultural insensitivity. As employers gear up for the new year, they should consider abandoning the following words and phrases. Encouraging their employees to do the same will help create more inclusive work environments and mitigate the risk of discrimination claims brought by members of their workforce.Continue Reading Cultivating Cultural Sensitivity in the Workplace: Words to Leave Behind in 2024

On the heels of the United States Supreme Court’s decision limiting affirmative action in college admissions, we have seen an increase in workers who do not belong to historically underrepresented demographic groups filing lawsuits challenging their employers’ diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs.[1] As a result, some businesses may wonder: Are our DEI efforts worth the legal risk? For most businesses, the consensus answer appears to be “yes.”Continue Reading Still “Business as Usual”: Recent Challenges to Company DEI Efforts

When “Gymtimidation” Turns Into Discrimination

The issues of acceptance and comfort in fitness centers can pose serious challenges for owners. A healthy gym environment can empower all individuals, regardless of age, gender, ability, and race. However, if managed by inadequately trained staff or run without oversight, a gym can become a divisive place that breeds anxiety and fear. The phenomenon of “gymtimidation” is a popular topic among fitness center owners and gym enthusiasts alike. A 2022 study of roughly 3,000 individuals revealed that 90% of gym-goers are concerned about others’ opinions and 42% of gym-goers experience appearance-based anxiety while at the gym. Notably, Gen-Z gym-goers are the most affected by “gymtimidation,” with 38% of that demographic identifying “fear of judgment” as a reason for disliking gyms.Continue Reading Employment Discrimination in Fitness Centers: How Employers Can Combat Harassment and Create an Inclusive Environment for Employees and Patrons

When the pandemic hit, many employees began working remotely. Even now, post-pandemic, many employers have maintained flexible work options for employees. With remote working increasing, many employers are grappling with new ways to create a workplace community that can flourish in the new remote work reality. One strategy is the creation of Employee Resource Groups (“ERGs”).Continue Reading Leveraging the Power of Employee Resource Groups While Mitigating Risk: A Practical Guide

We’ve emerged from the traditional winter season of flu, strep, and stomach viruses (often on repeat for those with small children) and are well into the traditional spring season of sneezing, sniffling, and coughing. As such, it is worth considering the role healthcare plays in each of our lives. For some, we might have found ourselves at the doctor a few times over the past year—once for an annual wellness visit and once or twice for antibiotics.Continue Reading Diagnosing the Future: Considering DEIA as a Treatment Plan for Healthcare Employers to Improve Patient Outcomes

Many companies have invested in and prioritized diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) initiatives over the past several years. And for good reason: DEIA initiatives have been proven to improve employee recruitment, retention, and morale, and to help mitigate risks associated with potential disparate treatment and discrimination claims by employees.Continue Reading Best Practices for Navigating Legal & Political Guardrails Impacting Employer DEIA Efforts

The Paid Leave for All Workers Act, expected to be signed soon by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker, would require nearly all covered Illinois employers to provide employees paid leave to be used for any purpose. Illinois would be just the third state to mandate paid leave – only Maine and Nevada have similar laws.

Once signed, the Act would take effect on Jan. 1, 2024, and provide nearly all Illinois workers with a minimum of 40 hours of paid leave, or a pro rata number of hours, during a designated twelve-month period.Continue Reading Illinois Set to Mandate Paid Leave For All Employees