As an employer, you understand that occupational discrimination complaints can threaten you and your company. Even if unwarranted, discrimination claims may impact your business. For example, they could distract other workers or cause some to quit.
What you do in the hours and days after an employee formalizes a discrimination complaint can affect the outcome of your situation. The steps outlined below may help you protect yourself and your company in the face of discrimination claims.
Conduct an investigation
It is important to take all workplace discrimination allegations seriously and conduct a timely investigation. However, you may not be the ideal person to investigate, especially if named in the allegations. An unbiased and responsible member of your Human Resources department may be more qualified.
The investigation should involve interviewing the involved parties, speaking with possible witnesses to the discrimination and gathering relevant documentation (performance reviews, etc.).
Seek a legal opinion
Do not underestimate the severity of your situation when facing a discrimination claim. An unfavorable outcome could damage your reputation and result in substantial financial loss. Legal guidance can help you assess the strength of the complaint, explore possible defenses and provide representation in formal proceedings.
Working with a legal practitioner also allows you to expand your knowledge of Federal and Florida anti-discrimination laws, which can protect you from future claims.
Workplace discrimination is a serious issue that can have legal and reputational consequences for employers that can go on indefinitely. Following these two steps as soon as possible may empower you to handle the situation more effectively while minimizing the risk of further damage.