Employees may bring a claim against an employer based on discrimination for a variety of reasons. Age discrimination, racial discrimination, and gender discrimination are among the most common forms lawsuits. Employers who put strong measures in place to prevent and address employment discrimination will have a better chance of avoiding Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charges and lawsuits.There are different ways to respond to discrimination claims against your company, but first you’ll need sage advice from an attorney who is skilled in employment discrimination defense in Tampa.
The Effects of Discrimination
The settlement costs an employer incurs to resolve an EEOC claim can have an unfavorable impact on the employer’s organization. Potential impacts include:
- Morale: Negative publicity and the constant pressure of a looming lawsuit can affect employee morale.
- Distraction: Months can be spent gathering and preparing documents and conducting an investigation. The time and energy invested in fighting the claim can have a major impact on everyone.
- Reputation: News spreads rapidly—good or bad. An employer with shaky (perceived or real) recruiting habits can wreak havoc on the employer’s reputation both internally and externally.
- Fees: Often overlooked, attorneys’ fees can cost as much as the actual settlement if the employer is found guilty of discrimination.
Defenses Against a Claim
The defense available to an employer depends on the alleged claim. Some defense are as follows:
- Employee Noncompliance: Used common when non-compliance with company policies is an issue. For example, excessive tardiness. However, meticulous records must be kept to prove the employee’s noncompliance.
- Bona Fide Occupational Qualification (BFOQ): If there’s a legitimate limitation or qualification for a job within a company. For example, pilots have a mandatory retirement age. So if someone were to file a claim alleging age discrimination, this would be a viable defense.
- Employee Performance: If an employee filed a discrimination claim alleging you fired them based on a discrimination, if you have record of their insubordination to prove why you terminated them, this defense will likely hold up in court.
How to Prevent Discrimination
To prevent discrimination, employers must have policies and procedures in place that are communicated and posted throughout the facility to ensure employees understand them. Companies must also keep detail records of attendance, reviews, and behavior-related issues as a means to refute any claims that could arise. Furthermore, it’s important that the company has an in-depth understanding of EEOC discrimination laws and provides training to key personnel on anti-discrimination policy.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.