James F. Mahoney, Attorney
Commentaries
 
     

February 2018

Avoiding Employment Discrimination Claims

The states where you should concentrate anti-discrimination training are California, Nevada, New Mexico, Illinois, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

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A worker who believes he has been discriminated against, or who claims retaliation for supporting a discriminated worker, can bring a federal or state charge against the employer, generally with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Discrimination can be based on sexual harassment, religion, race, pregnancy, equal pay, general harassment, national origin, sex, or age. Discrimination applies to hiring, firing, promotions, training, wages, and benefits. At the federal level, these categories apply to companies with 15 or more employees, and some states have lower thresholds.

The states where you should concentrate anti-discrimination training are California, Nevada, New Mexico, Illinois, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.

“Ban the Box” states are plentiful and prohibit employment applications from including questions that applicants must answer if they’ve been convicted of a crime. A few states, notably on the West Coast, prohibit actions related to an applicant’s credit history.

Discrimination claims and suits are expensive; most viable claims average $175,000 in settlement payments and/or defense lawyer costs. The majority, however, result in zero dollars to the claimant. Lawyers take about a year to resolve these claims.

Tips for Avoiding Claims

  • Train and regularly re-train front-line managers (one training session is not enough).

  • Take complaints seriously. Investigate them, and interview the accuser.

  • Take steps to rectify problem situations that may arise again.