The following is an excerpt from our latest guide, "A Business Owner's Guide to HR: Is There a Better Way?"
Advance preparation is always the best defense. Regardless of the type of discrimination claim, knowing the elements of claims and what can lead to them can go a long way toward preventing claims. Following are best practices:
- Be aware of EEOC rulings related to hiring, particularly on the use of credit reports, credit history or criminal background, as well as types of screening and selection tools.
- Post the corporate EEO statement, distribute the company’s written antidiscrimination policy and have employees and managers sign copies of these policies and procedures.
- Institute anti-discrimination policies and procedures, including training, employee manuals, reporting and social media policies.
- Develop and document corrective action processes that focus on resolving problems and establishing a successful relationship with employees, rather than creating an adversarial relationship.
- Is it really employment “at will?” Although 49 states are considered “at will employment” states, it’s always prudent for employers to document the issues and have good business reasoning for termination.
- Investigate and never retaliate. Often the “heat level” of a claim rises because the employer either did not take it seriously enough to investigate it or took retaliatory actions against the employee filing the complaint.