As an employer, it can be difficult to keep everything on track. Nonetheless, you have the responsibility of ensuring that your employees act appropriately in the workplace and do not feel as if they are the subject of any type of unlawful treatment, such as discrimination. Of course, you cannot fully control all of your employees, and claims of such mistreatment could come about.
Understandably, you may worry about legal action coming against your company due to discriminatory actions. Even if you believe that you and the company took the proper steps to address a complaint, a disgruntled employee could still file a claim. How can you protect yourself and the company?
Focus on prevention
One of the biggest ways to protect yourself and the company from claims of discrimination and a hostile work environment is to implement preventative measures. Some ways in which you can do that include the following:
- Know the law: Various federal laws protect workers from unlawful treatment in the workplace, and you need to ensure that your company adheres to the laws or ensure that it is exempt from having to follow them.
- Implement policies: Having a company policy that prohibits discrimination, harassment and other actions that could cause a hostile work environment could help prevent such actions from occurring.
- Provide training: Training employees on how to recognize discrimination and harassment and what actions could fall into these categories could help prevent them from taking place.
- Have a process: You can also benefit from having a specific process for employees to go through if they wish to file a complaint about discrimination and for investigating any complaints. It is important that employees understand these processes, and including them in an employee handbook is wise.
Hopefully, these measures will help keep discriminatory or harassing actions in the workplace to a minimum if not prevent them completely. Still, if an employee does complain about mistreatment, it is important that you take the proper steps to address the complaint. If an employee feels that his or her employer did not take the appropriate steps, it is possible for a legal claim to result.
Defending against claims
If a claim of discrimination does come against you or the company, you do not have to feel out of luck. You can create a defense against the accusations, and having evidence of your preventative measures may play a part in your defense. In order to fully understand your options, you may want to consult with a Florida employment law attorney.