Avoid EEOC Complaints by Preventing Discrimination
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is a government agency that administers and enforces federal laws associated with discrimination against employees or job applicants in the U.S. The agency was created by the Civil Rights Act in 1964 to protect employees from discrimination in the workplace. When a complaint is filed, the EEOC will investigate the matter and attempt to resolve it based on the facts of the claim.
Common EEOC Complaints
There are multiple kinds of claims regarding discrimination in the workplace:
Age discrimination refers to the unfair treatment of an applicant or employee because of his or her age. Laws exist to protect workers aged forty and older.
Gender discrimination refers to unfair practices that may involve the sexual orientation of employees with male, female, gay, lesbian, or transgender status.
Sex discrimination complaints may occur when an employer pays male and female counterparts different compensation for doing the same work.
Genetic information discrimination against job applicants or employees is also illegal. Genetic information may include the details associated with the genetic tests of an individual or their family members. Genetic information is an individual’s medical history that can be used to determine the individual’s likelihood of developing certain health conditions.
Additional types of discriminatory complaints are those based on national origin, disability, pregnancy, color, race, or religion.
Preventing EEOC Complaints
While employers cannot avoid all EEOC complaints, companies can take steps to prevent them. Companies can reduce their risk of financial and legal exposure while supporting a workplace of professionalism and respect by considering the following measures:
Establish anti-discrimination policies that are readily available in your company handbook. Make sure your employees and management teams are familiar with the equal employment opportunity, anti-retaliation, and anti-harassment policies that the company supports. These policies should also be posted on your organization’s intranet.
Offer regular training sessions to managers and employees focusing on the importance of your non-discrimination, anti-harassment, and retaliation policies. Make it clear that the company will not tolerate a lack of respect for others and will hold all managers and employees accountable for their actions.
Implement job-specific qualification standards that outline the duties and responsibilities for each position within the organization
Creating a Safe Work Environment
Create a process that provides various and easily accessible avenues for employees who wish to issue a complaint. Ensure all your employees know that those in your human resources department and management team are aware of the importance of a respectful, communicative, and professional workplace. Companies should encourage an environment that values open communication by ensuring all employees have a safe place to voice their concerns. If an employee believes they have been the target of discrimination or they have been retaliated against, the company must hear their concerns. Establishing a process for early dispute resolution will help your organization avoid misunderstandings that can lead to an EEOC complaint.
It is always wise for organizations to take preventative steps to protect their themselves from EEOC complaints.
· Adhere to state and federal laws
· Have written policies that are posted online and included in the company handbook
· Make sure all policies are equally applied
· Provide ongoing training modules for supervisors and managers
· Establish comprehensive personnel files to document issues regarding discrimination
Employers who follow these steps will successfully avoid many EEOC complaints.
Did you know that it is less expensive to conduct workplace anti-harassment training and establish an anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy than to defend your organization in a lawsuit? You can reduce the risk of litigation by ensuring your employees understand that your organization will not tolerate incivility and disrespect in the workplace. When you offer harassment prevention training and implement harassment and discrimination policies, you have acquired the documentation the courts need to prove that your employees were aware of the company's position on these issues. Protect yourself, your employees, and your organization by demonstrating that your business has no tolerance for harassment or discrimination.
Encourage a Respectful Workplace Environment
When companies foster safe, harmonious, and productive environments, they encourage and support employees to behave ethically and respectfully when interacting with others. Because harassment training clearly defines the organization's values and goals, these sessions can be effective tools when seeking to elevate workplace culture.
How The Lynch Law Firm Can Help
What we need from you to create your customized training:
A contact person at your company
An organizational leader in delivering a short on-camera welcome message to your employees.
A copy of your “Mission and Values” statement
Examples of scenarios localized to your company
Your Anti-Harassment Policy
Your Harassment Reporting Policy
Text about consequences for not reporting issues of harassment
"None of the above is difficult when the Lynch Law Firm is here to help you!" …Natalie Lynch
About Attorney Natalie Lynch
Attorney Natalie Lynch is the managing member of the Lynch Law Firm and a credentialed investigator and dispute resolution mediator with many years of experience working with businesses to help minimize employment risk factors. She is the only consulting and credentialed investigator in Central Texas who conducts third-party investigations into allegations of harassment, discrimination, hostile work environment, and other issues.
Call the Lynch Law Firm Now for a Free Consultation
The need for workplace harassment prevention training is greater now than ever before. Not only does inappropriate and offensive behavior in the workplace expose your business to liability, it also affects employee well-being, morale, and productivity, and it harms the company's brand and reputation.
Natalie Lynch and her team offer semi-customized and interactive training programs to help you provide a safer work environment for your employees. We offer training sessions in person and online. Call now to schedule complimentary consultation with the Lynch Law Firm. Contact Natalie Lynch at 512 298 2346 or email her.