Discrimination and Harrasment Claims on the Rise

We are happy to have another guest blogger, Lauren Brenner, President of the HCR Group telling us what CEO’s need to know about Discrimination and Harassment claims.

DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT CLAIMS ON THE RISE

When was the last time you distributed your Anti-Harassment Policy, trained your Managers/Supervisors on their compliance obligations and conducted Anti-Harassment Training with your employees?

Reality Check:

The most recent statistics are from 2007 and states that 75,768 EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) claims were filed, resulting in $229,900,000 in monetary awards (Note: this does not include lost company time or legal fee expenses).

In Massachusetts during this same period, 3,413 MCAD (Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination) cases were filed, of which 83% of claims were employment related, the other 17 % were filed for housing, public accommodations-related situations.

Of the MCAD filings the top 6 complaint categories were:

Disability – 20.5%
Sex – 17.4%
Race – 19.3%
Retaliation – 13%
Age – 9.4%
National Origin – 8.8%

What Can You Do?

Whether you have 1 employee to several hundred, you need to protect your organization.  This includes:

  • Training managers and supervisors as to their legal obligations so that they can help to enforce a zero tolerance policy;
  • Adding the term “zero tolerance” in all written anti-discrimination and harassment policies and procedures;
  • Conducting annual anti-discrimination and harassment training for all employees and maintain the proper postings in common areas in the workplace; and
  • Instructing supervisors and managers to report, and your designated Human Resources Representative to investigate any and all complaints made by employees, no matter how trivial or inconsequential.

Please contact Lauren Brenner, President/HR Division, HCR Group if you would like more information.

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