A Good Life Lesson in Workplace Diversity

Written by Bryson Brown and published in Utah Trucking Magazine, Summer 2021 Edition

While driving to the office the morning after Memorial Day, I noticed that several of my neighbors had adorned their homes with rainbow-striped flags. This stood as a reminder, at least to me, that we Utahns live in an increasingly diverse and pluralistic community and that each of us would do well to fight against discrimination and bigotry by treating others with respect, kindness, understanding, and inclusivity. When it comes to the workplace, in fact, this is not just a good life lesson, it also is the law, as there are both federal and state statutes that prohibit certain types of discrimination in the workplace.

Utah enacted the Utah Anti-Discrimination Act in 2016.[1] It generally prohibits employers who have fifteen or more employees from engaging in certain forms of workplace discrimination. An employer, specifically, cannot discharge, demote, terminate, refuse to hire, harass or discriminate against a qualified person because of the person’s race, color, sex, pregnancy, childbirth, or pregnancy-related conditions, age (if the individual is 40 years of age or older), religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation or gender identity. The statute also prohibits an employer from discriminating in matters of compensation, privileges, or conditions of employment based on the foregoing categories.

[1] Utah Code §§ 34A-5-101 et seq.

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Bryson R. Brown