In early 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court made a couple of decisions that impact the risks employers face if they are perceived to be retaliating against employees who complain of discrimination. The Court found that retaliation constitutes unlawful discrimination in its own right and is therefore prohibited under the Civil Rights Act. The Court also decided that retaliation is prohibited under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
The changes in these laws increase the potential exposure of all employers during litigation. The Civil Rights Act is of particular interest. Unlike the penalties that may be assessed under Title V11, there is no cap on the damages that may be assessed for a civil rights violation. Any case in which an employee claims to have been fired due to making a charge of racial discrimination now has the potential for catastrophic financial consequences.
Onboarding with an Eye toward Preventing Lawsuits
There are several ways in which a comprehensive onboarding solution can help employers protect themselves from litigation.
- It provides an automated platform for collecting signatures on all anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation policies. This helps ensure new employees know their rights and demonstrates intent on the part of the employer to abide by the law.
- Updated policies can be uploaded to an organization’s forms library at any time as the focus and requirements of Federal labor laws change.
- A solid acculturation module can provide new supervisors with thorough training on avoiding and preventing discriminatory actions (or those that might be viewed as questionable).
The customized use of forms and multimedia available with our products makes it possible for employers to take any other steps they find necessary to limit exposure. For example, employers may wish to provide an instructional sheet outlining the avenues of reporting workers can use if they believe they are experiencing discrimination. This allows potential problems to be addressed before they escalate.