News headlines continue to show there are a myriad of ways managers set themselves for lawsuits. Small and many big companies are ripe for EEOC complaints.
In 2011, AT&T was forced to settle an age-bias lawsuit. Capri Home Care was sued for alleged pregnancy discrimination. American Laser Centers settled an EEOC lawsuit over sexual harassment. Bass Pro Shows Companies was accused of worker reprisals.
The majority of lawsuits targeting management usually stem from a half dozen poor practices.
- Adherence to policies and procedures. Time and again, businesses are sued because managers fail to comply with company policy manuals. Principals should always review policy manuals with managers, and get a signed receipt indicating that they understand policies. (Yes, any manager who strays from policy should be disciplined.) Only then, the managers should review the handbook with non-exempt staff.
- Following discrimination and harassment policies. Periodically remind managers to be diligent to prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Their employment status will be affected if they fail to adhere to policies, or if they to act professionally should policy violations occur.
- Poor management of employee problems. Make certain managers know how to respond – not react in a knee-jerk fashion to employee problems. That means thinking about how to respond in all situations. Typical worker problems include attendance, alcoholism drug use, and insubordination.
- Retaliation or the appearance of being retaliatory. For example, courts frown on transfers if they look like a demotion. It looks suspicious if an employee suddenly receives an unsatisfactory performance appraisal or is not treated equally like other workers.
- Terminations. Courts look to make certain terminations are handled well legally, and with civility and fairness. Here are three key human resources questions in terminating workers.
- Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Typical problems result from FMLA misunderstandings over attendance policy, eligibility, notice requirements and worker reinstatement.
From the Coach’s Corner, for more strategies, here are three related articles:
- 21 Quick Tips to Avoid the Dark Side of Management
- How to avoid EEOC Discrimination Suits
- 12 Errors to Avoid in Evaluations
“Good management consists in showing average people how to do the work of superior people.”
-John D. Rockefeller
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.