The threat of employee discrimination claims looms large on the horizon for all American businesses, regardless of their success. Many well-established companies enjoying fast growth feel that they are safe from discrimination claims. However, it is always wise to hope for the best while preparing for the worst.
Settling employee claims of discrimination is costly. While you may be prepared to meet these financial costs, the damage done to your company is not so easily resolved. For example, if word spreads that your business was the target of a discrimination claim, your organization’s reputation will likely suffer.
How can you increase your discrimination claim protection?
In all cases, it is better to manage the risks of a claim before it happens. You can save money, keep your employees happy, and continue growing your company with solid discrimination prevention techniques. Our attorneys want to help by offering you a few tips to protect your company:
- Get an advocate. If you have not already developed a working relationship with a business + employment litigation law firm, it is time to take this critical step. Your attorney can help in many ways. For example, your lawyer can review your employee handbook and company policies to ensure that they protect you from discrimination claims. Developing and distributing clear employee policies, updating the policies as needed, and consistently enforcing your policies is key in preventing problems that may result in discrimination complaints. Make sure all employees are on the same page with your company’s rules and policies.
- Know the law. Employment laws can be complex, especially in California. The websites of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the California Department of Fair Housing have a great deal of information that can help California business owners understand and comply with the law. Review them thoroughly to learn how you can remain fully compliant. Brush up and understand anti-discrimination laws such as the federal civil rights act and California Fair Employment and Housing Act which set forth characteristics you cannot base hiring on including; skin color, race, religion, national origin, sex and gender identify and more. Your attorney can also help you stay up-to-date with these laws as well as the laws of the state or your local area.
- Inform your workers. Make it clear in your spoken language and in your policy documents that you will not tolerate discrimination. Make sure to train your HR & hiring personnel so they understand the do’s and don’ts regarding discrimination in the hiring process. Also, let your workers know that they are free to report discriminating behavior without fear of retaliation. In many cases, you can resolve such incidents before they turn into a full-blown claim.
We invite you to continue reviewing our employment issues page for more insight into protecting your company.