Most employers do not want to imagine discrimination taking place at their business. However, it unfortunately happens all the time. In fact, a report from the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission showed the organization received more charges in 2016 than in 2015.
In many cases, the employer ends up making a situation worse. Employers need to play an active role in the investigation. Employers who get ahead of the situation have the opportunity to prevent a long, arduous court battle. Here are several ways employers can handle discrimination complaints.
Maintain an open mind
Far too many employers immediately dismiss accusations. It can be easy to assume someone simply took a joke wrong. To keep everyone happy, it is best for the employer to at least speak with the person facing accusations to see if there is any validity to the claims.
Treat everyone with respect
A person who has faced discrimination has already dealt with a lot. The employer does not have to make matters more intense. Additionally, it is against the law for an employer to retaliate against people coming forward with accusations.
Speak with everyone confidentially
There is no need to blow this situation out of proportion. The only people who need to know about the investigation are the person who suffered discrimination and the person or people who perpetrated it. Employers should meet with all people involved and write everything down in case an outside party needs it at a later time.
To prevent legal action, it is typically necessary for an employer to take action against the perpetrator. This does not have to entail termination of employment, depending on what specifically occurred. However, the employer should show to the victim the business will not tolerate this kind of behavior. Most of the time, employers can circumvent lengthy legal battles by tackling the problem as soon as it becomes apparent.