Xenophobia is simply fear of foreigners. Conflict abroad often increases xenophobia in the workplace.

This fear may manifest itself in different ways among your employees: distrust, anxiety, or discrimination.

On the surface, xenophobia can seriously affect your company’s culture. It can also get your company in legal trouble. For example, the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has sued several U.S. businesses for violating the civil rights of Muslims. The EEOC enforces the nation’s employment anti-discrimination laws.

As an employer, you can learn how to respond to xenophobia in your company to avoid common legal pitfalls. While the article linked below addresses the fear of Islam, it applies to all xenophobia: Tips to Handling Employee Islamophobia in Your Company.