Maintaining U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) compliance is critical for any business. Property insurance provides you with protection against unanticipated loss or expense. A proactive EEOC compliance programcan do the same.
The EEOC prevents discrimination based on: age, disability, equal pay/compensation, genetic information, national origin, pregnancy, race, religion, retaliation, sex and sexual harassment.
Here are a few things to consider putting into your EEOC compliance program:
Put a statement in the handbook
Formally state in the employee handbook that your business will remain in full compliance with all local, state, and federal anti-discriminatory laws.
Require that all employees abide by the laws.
Create a process for reporting EEOC complaints and have at least two avenues for reporting grievances.
Many companies use a 1-800 number, ensuring that employees can’t claim there wasn’t a suitable vehicle to address their complaint.
Clearly and specifically outline unacceptable behaviors, stating that the business will adhere to all tenets of the EEOC.
Outline detailed unacceptable behavior so you are able to discipline employees who violate your policies.
Train all managers at a minimum annually about the specific requirements of the EEOC.
“Refresher courses” stress the importance of compliance and may prevent a manager from making a glib comment that can cost your business big bucks. One quick quip about a “moody pregnant” employee can cause months of hassles in the form of an EEOC claim.
Be sure hiring procedures are in accordance with the EEOC and all hiring managers are aware of potential pitfalls when interviewing candidates.
Job descriptions should also be scrutinized for possible non-compliance issues.
Investigate all claims immediately, thoroughly and confidentially.
Even if you are 100 percent certain the employee’s claim is completely fabricated, follow the pre-set policy for complaints. Conduct a thorough investigation and be sure to document the procedure and outcomes. Keep all information confidential; failure to do so can result in an additional claim.
Don’t retaliate against complainants.
Any employee who indicates that they feel they have been discriminated against is protected against “adverse actions” from their employer under the EEOC. Telling an employee to remain at home until an investigation is completed or ignoring them in the work environment can be considered retaliation.
Don’t treat complainants differently.
Though it may be difficult, managers should not treat employees any differently after a complaint is filed. Retaliation claims are the most common violations, according to data compiled by the EEOC.