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Tips from the EEOC for preventing retaliation

Many employers assume that EEOC is working against them and in favor of the employees, which is completely inaccurate and has no basis in reality. The main purpose of EEOC is to create harmony between workers and managers, employers and employees. They are not “on one side.” And just like any good EEOC lawyer will tell you, EEOC is there to help you, not jeopardize your business.

Retaliation and EEOC:

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Retaliation is the most filed charge in EEOC for the last decade, and its elimination is in the interest of everyone. Hence, EEOC has published a guide and tips on how to avoid retaliation in your workplace. Let’s take a look.

Don’t tolerate retaliation:

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It can be tempting to teach a complaining employee a lesson or get rid of them. But do not give in to this temptation. Keep a calm head, and advise your supervisors and managers to do the same. Only fire the person if they are actually incompetent, insubordinate, or violating your company rules. Do not mix your personal feelings with your work decisions.

Include the anti-retaliation policy in your handbook:

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Retaliation can take many forms. It can be between you and your employee or between two employees. EEOC recommends stating your company’s policy on the matter in clear words. This policy should mention how your company will not tolerate any retaliatory behavior whatsoever and also include a way for employees to report such behavior.

Document your non-retaliatory actions:

Sometimes you just have to fire a person or penalize them for their actions. Just because someone has indulged in protected activities doesn’t mean they get to do whatever they want, and you can’t do anything about them. If you think your reasons are justified, then document them clearly, and take necessary actions against that person. This documentation will act as proof of your reasoning for firing someone after they practiced protected activities.

Remind your employees of the policy:

Every time a complaint is filed against an employee regarding matters of discrimination or harassment, go out and remind your employees that retaliation is not tolerated in your premises. Make a clear statement about why retaliation is wrong and that anyone found indulging in such activities will be held accountable accordingly. This reminder is necessary because people tend to forget things like these in the heat of the moment, and you reminding them eliminates the excuse of “I forgot.”

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