Avoiding A Discrimination Law Suit - Buznew.com


Avoiding A Discrimination Law Suit

By Gregory Covey

It is unfortunate but discrimination does and will continue to happen in the workplace causing some very good employees to seek relief in the form of quitting, filing legal action, or both. If we are responsible for any number of employees it is our legal responsibility to protect them from any form of unequal treatment based on an employee's gender, sexual orientation, race, national origin, religion, age, disability, being pregnant, regardless of our personal beliefs. Not protecting an employee from any form of discrimination could cost your company an enormous amount of money.

Not all discrimination against an employee in any of the protected classes above is displayed by a supervisor using defamatory and hurtful words. Unfortunately it is very subtle and is unnoticed by all employees with the exception of the victim themselves. One of the most common ways it is displayed is when perhaps an employee makes a "Blonde" joke at an employee meeting and the supervisor does nothing. As another example, the supervisor may allow a birthday celebration cake to be given that encourages someone to retire. You may believe these types of displays are cute and harmless, but you are wrong.

Training is one of the most effective ways to avoid anyone taking part in any type of negative treatment towards someone because they fall into a protected class. Training should begin on their first day, which should consist of providing them with complete information on the subject matter. It is very important that they understand that any form of this behavior will not be allowed and what will happen if they engage in it. There should also be annual training classes that are provided and documented also.

A great way to make sure everyone is aware of your company's position on your discrimination policy and how they are to treat anyone within a protected class is to produce and provide an employee handbook. Your employee handbook should cover not only your policy on discrimination but every employment policy you have. Once you have produced an employee policy handbook the next step would be to make sure everyone gets a copy and signs for it.

It is very common for an employee that feels they are being unfairly treated because of their protected class to generate a legal claim. Therefore, it could become troublesome for your business if you hire only those applicants under forty, and an older employee is passed over for a training opportunity. Having said this it is so crucial for you to make sure you document every one of these types of decision in the event someone does file a claim.

In most cases employers are trying to do the right thing because in the end they are most interested in operating a successful business. The problem can still be a big one since a business owner or supervisor is responsible for things they know, or should have known. This means that as a business owner or supervisor you must continually be aware of what is happening in the workplace. Don't plant yourself in your office and assume everything is fine. If and when you see something that doesn't seem right investigate and determine if action is necessary. Your business is counting on you to do so!

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