In today’s litigious society, it should come as no surprise that lawsuits against employers for their employment practices is one of the most common reasons for litigation. Especially in a time where sexual harassment and discrimination is so prominent, small business owners need to evaluate their discrimination policies and ensure they are willing to work with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if necessary. Read on and protect your operation and its practices with an Ann Arbor Employment Practices Liability insurance policy.

What you need to know.

The laws the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces make it illegal to discriminate in the workplace against an employee or job applicant based on sex, religion, color, race, age, genetic information or disability. Employers cannot discriminate against a person who has complained about discrimination or filed a charge. It’s also illegal to discriminate on the basis of participating in an employment discrimination lawsuit or investigation, explains Small Business Trends.

Your responsibility.

If your business employees 15 people or more, this law applies to you. Before you take any corrective action, such as firing someone, you need to review the law and your obligations to stay out of potential legal trouble.

 What happens if I’m found at fault?

After the EEOC conducts a thorough investigation of your business practices and the claim(s) against you, one of two things can happen. First, they can file a lawsuit against you on the claimant’s behalf. Or, they can issue a right to sue letter, which allows the former employee to file a claim against you in the form of a private lawsuit.

Preventing lawsuits.

The best way to protect your business is to review your policies and to educate management on the proper way to hire and fire employees.

Establish procedures that identify anti-discrimination and anti-retaliatory processes, as well. That means your policies need to be clear retaliation will not be tolerated against people who have laid unsuccessful discrimination claims. Small businesses need solid recruitment and hiring procedures promoting anti-discrimination principles. Performance appraisals should be carefully checked over for discriminatory trends. Transparency is one of the keys to steering clear of any issues, explains the article.

Finally, set anti-harassment policies, as well. This means outlining specific examples of harassment that are not tolerated in the workplace. Be sure to educate both employees and management on these policies so that enforcement can be proven in a court of law.

About Thayer Innes and Freeman Bunting Insurance Agencies

At Thayer-Innes Insurance Agency and Freeman Bunting Insurance Agency, we strive to provide comprehensive insurance solutions to support Ann Arbor homeowners. Our homeowners’ policies can be tailored to meet your specific risk exposures and provides much more coverage than a traditional policy, giving you the peace of mind you deserve. For more information about our products, contact us today at (855) 395-6316.

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