Due to the alarming number of claims related to employment practices, owners and managers need to become more proactive in dealing with, and preventing, discriminatory actions from taking place at their companies and offices. Employment related practices insurance provides some much needed protection, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laws must be adhered to at all times.
Train Human Resources managers and all employees on EEOC laws
Implement a strong EEOC policy that is embraced at the top levels of the organization.
Fostering open communication and early dispute resolution may minimize the chance of misunderstandings escalating into legally actionable EEOC problems. Establishing neutral and objective criteria to avoid subjective employment decisions based on personal stereotypes or hidden biases should also impact the number of complaints substantially.
These policies can go a long way in stemming the tide of complaints by creating an environment where such instances are kept to a minimum, or hardly ever occur at all.
Recruitment, hiring, and promotion policies
Recruit, hire, and promote with EEOC principles in mind, while implementing practices designed to widen and diversify the pool of candidates considered for employment openings, including openings in upper level management.
Conducting self-analyses to determine whether current employment practices disadvantage people of color, and make sure they are consistently applied when choosing among candidates. Analyze the duties, functions, and competencies relevant to job openings and create objective, job-related qualification standards related to those duties and functions.
Also make sure promotion criteria are made known, and that any job openings are communicated to all eligible employees.
Review the terms, conditions, and privileges of employment
It is important to protect against retaliation and provide clear and credible assurances that if employees make complaints, or provide information related to complaints, the employer will protect employees from retaliation. Adopt a strong anti-harassment policy and periodically train each employee on its contents. Be sure to follow through and enforce it. The policy should include:
- A clear explanation of prohibited conduct
- Clear assurance that employees who make complaints or provide information related to complaints will be protected against retaliation
- Protect the confidentiality of harassment complaints to whatever extent this is possible
- Institute a complaint process that provides a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation, and
- Ensure that the employer will take immediate and appropriate corrective action when it determines that harassment has occurred
These are areas of concern that, when properly addressed, should reduce the number of employment related practices insurance claims regarding discrimination in the workplace.