Handling a discrimination complaint as an employer

May 10, 2022 | Employment Law (Employer)

Finding out that one of your employees has made a complaint against you for discrimination can be hurtful and upsetting. It’s important that you don’t retaliate or talk to the employee right away.

You need to know that you could face harsh penalties if the discrimination case is proven to be true, which is why you’ll want to know all your legal options before you respond to the complaint. If you’ve received the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charge of discrimination, then it’s time to take action.

What should you do once you receive the charge?

Sit down with your attorney to talk about exactly what the charge means. A charge from the EEOC simply means that someone has filed a claim against your business and not that you have necessarily violated any laws.

You will need to provide a response to the complaint, but you will need to be cautious about how you choose to respond. You don’t want to say something that might implicate you, which is why many business owners turn to their attorneys for assistance before replying. While you’re not legally obligated to work with an attorney, you do have the option at any time during the EEOC charge process.

Mediation may help you resolve conflicts outside of court

In many cases, it’s possible to handle claims of discrimination without going to court. The EEOC does offer mediation, which is one thing to consider.

What should you do if your employee is still working with you?

If they have not left the job, make sure you do nothing that could appear to be retaliatory. Retaliation, such as firing them for making the allegations against you, is illegal even if their claim has no merit.

If you’re confused about your rights during this process in any way, you need to look into your legal options to get the support you need before replying to the EEOC. Taking a strong stance against discrimination and responding appropriately to this claim may help you keep the issue out of court or have it dismissed completely based on the evidence you have on your side.

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