When we hear stories about workplace discrimination or harassment on the news, they often highlight how a worker was ill-treated by a co-worker or superior while on the job. An individual can claim that they were discriminated against during the hiring process, though, too. No matter the situation, it matters how you respond to their allegations.
It's important for you to listen to an accuser when they report discrimination. You should also let them know that you will take their accusations seriously and plan to keep their information confidential. It's important that you outline the steps that you intend to take now that you're aware of the allegations when you meet with them.
You should let them know that you're going to launch an investigation to compile documentation. It's important that you tell them that you'll discipline the perpetrator if it's warranted. If you don't have experience in investigating such matters, then you should hire a third party to conduct the inquiry.
If you decide to launch an investigation yourself, then you'll want to learn more about when and where the incident occurred. You should seek to find out exactly what happened, what each party involved may have said and whether any witnesses may have seen what transpired. You may need to gather together schedules, timecards, meeting notes or emails as evidence to corroborate the accuser's and perpetrator's accounts of what happened.
Whether you carry out the investigation yourself or hire a third party to handle it, it's important that you move quickly. This is key to you being able to preserve critical evidence. It also shows the accuser that you're taking the matter seriously.
You should never take any retaliatory actions against the accuser or perpetrator while the investigation is in progress. If you do, then you may be sued for violating the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) laws.
Handling a discrimination investigation can be difficult, especially if you're short-staffed or inexperienced in handling such matters. This is why it's important that you consult with an employment law attorney who knows what steps to take in these instances.
Litigation can have a significant impact on your company's bottom line. An experienced Cincinnati lawyer can keep your costs low and help you remain in compliance with all applicable Ohio and federal laws.