EEOC claims are at an all-time-high and many law firms report a rise in lawsuits as recently displaced have a hard time finding new jobs. Although most lawsuits arise from perceived injustices or errors by line managers, many HR professionals still rely on documentation and policy manuals to curtail and fight claims. The best way to avoid suits in today's litigious environment is by training managers to avoid these critical mistakes.Failing to Document Candidate Rejections Managers may have a hard time explaining why they rejected a candidate several months after the fact. So train them to compile a summary of their thoughts and impressions following each interview and retain their notes until the coast is clear. That way, managers can use the information to refresh their memories before providing a statement to the Feds or making a court appearance. Inflated Appraisals It’s hard to justify firing an employee who has received a glowing performance reviews. Train managers to give honest and consistent feedback and communicate with under-performers so they know exactly where they stand. In fact, you may find that terminations decrease when employees know their status, since some will seek new jobs when they understand the severity of their situation. And don't forget that managers who fire without first trying to improve a worker's performance will appear insensitive and potentially discriminatory in court. Inconsistent Statements Employers often lose in court when they change their story or statements. So have a valid reason for terminating an employee and stick with it when you speak with authorities or give a deposition. Ignoring Policies Train managers to call HR before taking disciplinary action because judges and juries won’t accept ignorance or forgetfulness as an excuse for violating company rules. Managers need to understand the laws and be accountable for reducing claims and lawsuits.
Leslie Stevens-Huffman is a business and careers writer based in Southern California. She has more than 20 years’ experience in the staffing industry and has been writing blog posts, sample resumes and providing sage career advice to the IT professionals in our Dice Community since 2006. Leslie has a bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from the University of Southern California.
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