Take 90 new Department of Labor Investigators, add aggressive enforcement of the law, stir in limited corporate oversight, and combine with intricate laws that can be difficult to understand. Make sure there are no processes and systems that would force compliance of the law and HR best practices. Mixed together and you have a $1.5 million dollar settlement on your plate for age and gender discrimination as one Colorado auto dealership recently learned.
10 former employees of the dealership will split the $1.5 million dollar settlement. The consent decree also requires the dealership to put discrimination training in place, to post its anti-discrimination policy, to provide training about anti-discrimination laws to its employees and managers, and to make periodic reports to the EEOC.
“Sexual harassment and sex discrimination against women in traditionally male-dominated industries, such as the auto industry, are still unfortunate realities,” EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart Ishimaru said in a statement. “Likewise, older workers continue to experience age discrimination, despite their experience, productivity and qualifications.”
You can’t afford a recipe for disaster like this, and you should take a few simple steps to reduce your risk:
- Understand the law and your responsibilities as an employer. There are numerous resources available including KPA’s free webinars presented by leading labor attorneys and HR professionals.
- Establish policies and training so all employees understand their rights and obligations. Make sure you keep complete and accurate records.
- Consider using HR management software to automate and force compliance in the hiring, employee management and termination process. Yes it is an added expense in a tough economic climate for dealership – but the expense is a fraction of the cost of a discrimination or wage and hour violation lawsuit.
Join the conversation- how does your company prevent discrimination in the workplace?