Employees are well within their legal rights to file for a case if they feel they face severe discrimination at work. For a company, a lawsuit can become a significant source of loss. Discrimination lawsuits can easily cost a thousand dollars, which is not a company’s situation. Apart from paying a large amount of money, discrimination lawsuits also come in the public’s view. Any news that highlights a company in a negative light is bad for public image and reputation.
So, it is best to know what employees can sue you to avoid a possible lawsuit from emerging. Employees can file a claim on different forms of discrimination. These can be about their race, age, gender, and disability. So, it’s best to steer clear from ever using an employee’s physical attributes against them. However, there is also a list of additional features you should steer clear from as you manage your employees:
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1. Make Sure Your Fire Appropriately
When you’re choosing to fire an employee, make sure you do it from a place of rational reasoning and not from a home of emotion. You can’t fire an employee before conducting a proper investigation and have enough evidence to let them go. Suppose you fire an employee out of a place of prejudice or instigate the employee enough to push them to act out. In that case, you’re cultivating an environment of discrimination.
It can lead to other charges against your company and may eventually lead to you closing permanently. Moreover, today, employees have a right to file a case against your company in case of unfair dismissal. They can search for these lawyers online by typing unfair dismissal lawyers to get the best lawyer for their case.
2. Don’t Underestimate Discrimination Allegations
It would help if you never assumed that discrimination allegations wouldn’t hold up in court. All it takes is one lawsuit from an employee to take down your company. Suppose your company chooses to retaliate against an employee who was a victim or witnessed Discrimination Lawsuits. In that case, that is also a criminal offense. So not only are you accumulating charges, you’re digging a deep hole for your company’s image.
Therefore, you need to investigate all charges against your company and make sure you have the paperwork. It will help you when you go for a trial and so never miss filing paperwork or keeping a record of all your employees and what their performance looks like.
3. Provide Training and Manuals
Your employees need continuous training and revision every quarter. Not only does it ensure they are well aware of what workplace discrimination looks like. It also helps your company if you state on record that you provided the necessary training to your employees, but you kept revising any new policies. Your training manual and training videos need to be comprehensive. You should be clear about culture-sensitive language and what is offensive and obscene, no matter how popular it is as a slang word.
Your manual should also include how severely your company treats workplace discrimination and how it can quickly escalate into firing the offending employee. So, if any employee files for a lawsuit, you have substantial evidence on paper that your company is not only careful but strict about keeping the workplace harmonious.
4. Be Transparent
Despite providing training, there is still a chance that discrimination may happen on a more subtle level. These could be inside jokes between employees, nicknames, or making an employee the punchline of a joke. In such cases, you need to have an open-door policy. If an employee is getting discriminated against, they should feel comfortable enough to come and file a complaint and even discuss it at length with you.
It is your job as an employer to make sure their complaints get listened to. You keep their identity a secret as you work on investigating the severity of the complaint. It ensures all future and current employees that not only are they safe to work for you, but they also will never get ignored based on their complaints.
5. Hire in a Justified Manner
Don’t fill your workplace with people who serve a certain prerequisite. In addition, please don’t make it a point to steer the conversation about the candidate’s age, gender, and race. Instead, your focus should be on what an employee can bring to the table when you’re looking to hire. Talk about their skills and hobbies and how they can weave creativity, imagination, experience, and exposure to make your workplace better.
Companies that focus on physical traits often discriminate, which can quickly become a lawsuit claim. As an employer, you can’t allow prejudices and assumptions about a race to keep you from getting the talent you need.
6. Conduct Performance Reviews
Performance reviews are essential for your company. These reviews need to be as honest and detailed as possible. If there is a lawsuit against you, these reviews are also considered in court. So, if you file employee reviews without considering that an employee has been problematic despite their review reflecting, otherwise that will reflect poorly for you. A lawsuit is all about what lawyers can see and read.
If you are filing ill-considered reviews and then choosing to fire employees, that is a wrong move. Therefore, your reviews should be honest, upfront, and any complaints against an employee. Make sure you address them in the review.
Employees can file cases if they feel they are being discriminated against at work. Therefore, as an employer, you must make sure your company covers all the bases regarding employee discrimination lawsuits. So, make sure that you train and educate your employees well. When you’re hiring, don’t bring unnecessary factors into play, such as their disabilities and age.
Your company needs to have an open-door policy to lodge a complaint and get it on paper if they feel the workplace environment is unsafe. Finally, make sure you are strict about documenting and keeping updated records. A lawsuit can strike at any time, so it is good to take care of your employees and have policies in place.
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