As you focus on building your business, you have many hats to wear. Ensuring your business has practices in place to create a safe, nondiscriminatory environment should always rank high.
While you may not think you will face a discrimination lawsuit, it does still happen frequently. Although the rates have dropped, thousands of people fill claims every year in California. Help avoid that happening to your business by incorporating the following:
1. Develop an employee handbook
Regardless of the size of your business and the number of employees, an employee handbook lays out the foundation of expectations. This should include information regarding benefits, paid time off, raises, and disciplinary procedures. Additionally, have associated paperwork that each new employee signs that indicate they understand the rules and policies.
2. Train managers and employees
Employees at all levels should take workplace harassment training. Oftentimes, people may not realize that their joking around actually equates to a form of harassment. This training helps everyone understand the different types of harassment, from race to age and pregnancy, as well as ways to better communicate and the process to follow if a person believes they experienced a form of harassment.
3. Maintain a paper trail
While work-related harassment lawsuits happen for many reasons, they often come about after a person gets fired. One may hope that verbal warning regarding work ethics may do the trick, but that does not provide a business protection. Maintain a file for each employee that indicates any inappropriate behavior or professional misconduct.
Although a business may face the unexpected no matter how much planning happens, the above may help reduce the chances of a lawsuit happening.