This Can Puncture Profits
4 Steps to Fortify Your Business
After taking a respite during the peak of the pandemic, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has exploded with new lawsuits on allegations of discrimination in the workplace. In September 2022 alone, 50 charges and settlements have been pursued with all types of businesses, small to large, across the country.
The allegations involving missteps by management have proven costly and disrupting to businesses - the costliest settlement in September 2022 being $700,000 paid by Lowe’s for a sexual harassment discrimination lawsuit.
Stop, Take Stock, and Act
You want your work environment to be safe and respectful for employees which influences productivity and profitability. The steps that need to be taken aren’t glamorous, but they are absolutely necessary to prevent profits from draining out of your business. And the sooner, the better.
1. Review and revise your policies and procedures for anti-discrimination and retaliation.
2. Investigate complaints in a timely and professional manner.
3. Train! All employees should be included in anti-discrimination and retaliation training, but also important - anyone in a supervisory, leadership, or even HR position should be trained on how to promote and reinforce a culture of respect for all in their teams and how to respond, investigate, document, and escalate discrimination or retaliation complaints in a timely manner if they arise.
4. Track training, complaints, and revisions to policies and procedures so they can be measured.
Remember, anyone in a management position in your organization represents your company. Their actions are seen as the company’s actions and can leave areas for liability wide open. In addition, managers and supervisors can be personally held accountable and liable for behaviors perceived as discriminatory - a change to Texas law in September 2021 made it possible for supervisors, managers, human resource professionals, other employees and third parties to be named individually as defendants in an employee’s sexual harassment complaint and held personally liable for damages.
Don't put it off - prioritize reducing your employee relations risk!
If you are an Achilles Group client, you already have a powerful ally on your side to promote a culture of respect throughout your organization.
If you are not an Achilles Group client, reach out to get the best HR advisors on your team to close these gaps.