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What can employers do to lower risk of discrimination suits?

Discrimination is a hot topic in any arena, from small businesses to corporations, government agencies and non-profit organizations. As a business owner in Miami, Florida, you owe it to yourself to be proactive about eliminating the potential for this costly issue. Before you begin to address it, you may want to educate yourself on the Civil Rights Act of 1991 and other anti-discrimination legislation, as well as the role of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

According to Smart Business, owners, supervisors and managers are not the only ones who need to be able to understand and identify discrimination in the workplace. It is also beneficial to provide training to your employees on their rights under the law. For example, physical disabilities or other health problems should not be factors in determining the best person for a promotion, as long as reasonable accommodation can be made. Other factors that should not be considered when making employment decisions include the following:

  •          Pregnancy
  •          Religion
  •          Sexual orientation or gender identity
  •          Age
  •          Race, skin color or national origin

Doing everything by the book first requires that there is a book to follow, so employee handbooks and detailed policy and procedure manuals are essential. Procedures should cover employee discipline and termination, the hiring process and the documentation of complaints. These documents should be reviewed and updated regularly, and staff should be informed of any changes. This information about discrimination and litigation has been provided for educational purposes. It is not intended to be taken as legal advice.

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