Lawsuits against businesses for alleged discrimination are commonplace across all industries. Even businesses that did not have any intent to discriminate or commit any type of wrongdoing could face this type of claim.
Business owners and managers should familiarize themselves with some of the things that they can do to avoid these types of claims. A proactive approach can help to avoid unnecessary liability and loss.
Understand what constitutes discrimination
Many people think that discriminating against someone simply means treating that individual unfairly compared to others. In reality, the legal definition of employment discrimination applies only to treating individuals unfairly because they belong to a protected class. Examples of protected classes include members of a certain race, religion, sex, age.
Develop strong anti-discrimination policies
Your business’ human resources department must have a working knowledge of best practices to prevent potentially discriminatory interactions. Key staff members should receive training about what they need to do in their job roles to sustain a discrimination-free workplace.
Carry employment practices liability insurance
If you have to defend your business against a discrimination claim, your general liability insurance may not necessarily provide coverage. Check-in with your insurer about your current coverage and evaluate whether you should obtain a policy for employment practices liability.
From the hiring phase through the end of personnel’s employment, your business needs to be conscientious about treating its workforce fairly and equitably. Any perception of discrimination can significantly damage your company culture, and a legal claim could present substantial hardship to your operations.