How to avoid being target of discrimination…
Even if an organization is located in an “at-will state”, it still must comply with Federal Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The EEOC has reported again an all time high in the number of complaints with 99,922 complaints reported in 2010, up over 7,000 complaints from 2009. “Retaliation” now leads the complain area, surpassing “race” as the most common complaint.
The recession has certainly had an impact on the record number of complaints. In the past, dissatisfied or poorly treated workers would find other employment. In a sluggish economy, people stay in bad situations longer, and find themselves the target of potentially discriminatory practices. Further, employees are more educated about the laws and are more likely to exercise their rights in a fiscally challenging environment. After being fired, and with meager job prospected, terminated employees are more likely to sue than to simply walk away from a situation where he or she experienced a tangible loss.
Retaliation is the largest complaint area, yet one of the easiest to avoid. Once an employee complains about his or civil rights, he or she should not face adverse employment action.
In short, retaliation is when an employee complains, and something bad happens to them.
Retaliation is not just about being fired; it can include other employment actions such as demotion, transfer, or a change in shift.
Employers who have regular training can avoid falling into a snare of the changing EEOC rules. As the breadth of retaliation has changed in 2010 and the fact that ORAL complaints are now viable, organizations needs to keep managers and supervisors compliant with the EEOC rules to avoid costly lawsuits.
Here are a few steps you can take:
1. Review HR policies regularly to insure these policies comply with most recent legislation,
2. Invest in a regular training calendar. Training is far cheaper than the cost to defend a law suit,
3. Keep in mind that diversity training is nice, but it application to EEOC policy is critical,
4. Take ALL complaints seriously and include HR BEFORE changes in employment status for those who complained.
For more information, visit Leah Hollis, the President and Founder of Patricia Berkly LLC a diversity training and consulting group. Dr. Hollis has conducted several lectures and assisted clients with this issue. Her group is atwww.diversitytrainingconsultants.com.
The recent book Unequal Opportunity, offers details about discrimination and harassment cases, and suggests solutions for managers. Visitwww.diversitytrainingconsultants.com for more details.
Contact: Patricia Berkly LLC for training solutions that can help your organization.