When an employee feels discriminated against by their employer, it can lead to several problems, including claims of harassment and discrimination.
An employee may feel discriminated against when they are subjected to hostile treatment based on their race, gender, age, socioeconomic status, disability status or other personal characteristics. It may be difficult for the employer to know how to handle these claims and avoid liability.
Here are some things that employers should do if an employee feels and makes discrimination claims.
6 Things To Do If Employees Are Experiencing Discrimination In The Workplace
1. Do Your Best To Understand
It’s best to try and determine if the employee is making a legitimate complaint based on their perception. It is necessary to immediately address complaints made by employees that are baseless and abuse their rights. If the employee claims discrimination or harassment, it must be investigated immediately.
The employer should try to get specifics on the claim and the specific behavior. In some cases, this might require speaking with other employees who may have witnessed the alleged behavior or heard unpleasant comments discussed.
2. Document The Issue
Once it is determined that there may be an issue of discrimination, the employer should set up precautionary steps to manage complaints fairly and efficiently for both parties involved. To do this, employers need to document all incidents in writing as soon as possible.
If a discrimination claim is received from an employee, there should be an appropriate response from a manager. Many managers are not prepared to deal with these types of complaints, and they can contribute to an uncomfortable situation for all involved parties.
3. Act Professionally
Employers should act professionally in dealing with employees who make claims of discrimination or harassment. It is important not to treat the employee like they are a horrible person simply because they have claimed discrimination or harassment.
If the employer shows an unwarranted amount of anger in dealing with the complaint, it can give the impression that they are trying to cover something up. This could, in turn, hurt their chances in court and damage their reputation.
4. Make Sure There Is A Written Policy
Employers should have a written policy regarding handling complaints of discrimination or harassment. It is also helpful to have an employee handbook that explains your company’s stance on these types of complaints. You can find examples of such policies here.
5. Educate Your Staff On The Laws
Providing workplace education is the best way to allow employees to understand what they can or cannot do while on the job. This includes legal training on their rights and duties as part of their employment agreement.
Training is also essential because it ensures that every employee knows what their rights are under the law, when to report a problem and how to handle a complaint, among other things.
6. Contact A Lawyer
In serious discrimination or harassment cases, the employee might hire a team of Chicago discrimination attorneys. It is a good idea for an employer to contact a lawyer.
Even if a claim is unfounded, meaningful legal representation can help employers effectively defend themselves in court in the event of a lawsuit.
Employers have a vested interest in protecting the rights of their employees. Protecting their employees is legal and financial. While it is always important to keep employees happy and productive, employers should also consider it their legal obligation to see that nothing happens that could be considered a form of discrimination or harassment.