Monday, February 21, 2011

No surprise: EEOC charges way up

The EEOC reported last month that the number of discrimination charges was at record levels. The report was not a surprise given the high unemployment rate, continued company layoffs and general economic climate.

A greater number of EEOC charges also means that it is likely that a greater number of EEO lawsuits will be filed in the courts. Now more than ever, it is imperative for employers to be cognizant of the potentail for cases of this sort being filed against them, to understand the nuances involved in the EEOC’s handling and prosecution of such cases, and to be prepared to timely challenge any attempts by the EEOC to overreach.
Our firm is recommending that employers engage in proactive self-audits, in order to seek out and eliminate vulnerability. We do not want our clients to be among the list of targeted businesses, nor do we want our clients to be found in violation of any laws, paying fines, being sued, etc. We engage in an interactive interview process, examine records and review policies and procedures to ensure that a company is compliant with the various employment laws.

A self-audit can mitigate potential penalties and fines that a government investigator might uncover. In addition, the audit process can lead to identifying weak areas and problems with record keeping and certain employment practices. In turn, the audit process can lead to the development of "best practices" and can function as a long-term cost savings, as a single lawsuit can cost over $100,000 to defend.
If your company hasn't reviewed policies and procedures in some time or hasn't had an audit, now is a good time to do so.

No comments: