Harassment and discrimination lawsuits can cost companies several thousand dollars. Even if the company prevails, the lawsuit can damage its reputation and consume resources. Many companies aspire to have a discrimination-free and harassment-free workplace, but companies are at risk of one employee letting their biases dictate their behavior.
Your employment handbook can help protect your business from lawsuits. How can you make your handbook effective?
Outline your policies clearly
You must comply with federal and state anti-discrimination laws. Not only will you need to avoid making decisions based on people’s protected characteristics, but you will also need to provide training for your employees so that they don’t harass each other. Being clear about your internal policies regarding your harassment-free workplace can help protect your company by giving you grounds to discipline workers who mistreat others. Make sure your policies establish clear reporting avenues so that employees can effectively report claims and such can be investigated appropriately.
Follow your policies
When your company makes it clear that it does not tolerate harassment or discrimination and gives workers ample opportunity to report such issues, you will be in a better position to defend against lawsuits brought by workers who claim you did not protect them. However, having lawful policies isn’t enough; the policies must be followed.
Learning more about California and federal employment laws will help your business avoid litigation based on alleged violations. Having sound legal guidance is also important.