When your business is being accused of a discriminatory act against a former employee, it's important to take all the right steps to avoid any potential problems. Consider these 3 tips that will help maintain a good-standing business, all while doing your best to prove that your company didn't engage in discrimination of a former employee.
Use The Help of a Law Firm
Having a law firm on your side is important when being accused of discrimination. The other party will have already filed their complaint with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), which will be investigated to determine why your former employee felt they were discriminated against. Having a law firm on your side will make things easier because they speak on your behalf when showing the EEOE the steps that were taken prior to an employee being removed from your company.
Keep Good Records
After you are notified about the employee having an issue with how they were treated by your company, you will need to dig up any records you have that are related to the employee and their dismissal. You need to prove the termination was due to work ethics, which means having documentation about this employee was crucial. This can be in the form of a performance evaluation, disciplinary action, or a documented interaction with a supervisor.
Unless the employee was let go for issues that were recently discovered, such as theft or forgery, you should have a documented history with the employee that foreshadows their eventual termination.
Consider Using Mediation
The government offers a free mediation program that can be used to determine the proper course of action that should be taken. The mediation session is informal, but it allows both you and your former employee to resolve the dispute with the help of a trained mediator. They do not act as a judge that makes a final decision about the case, but they assist with coming up with a solution to the problem. Once you reach an agreement during mediation, a signed document stating the agreement will be legally binding in court.
Many people prefer to use mediation because it's a friendly way to resolve a dispute. If a resolution is not found during mediation, the charge will continue to be investigated as it normally would have. The case will then go public, which could harm your business. Being more agreeable during mediation can help save your business from potential public embarrassment in court, which can result in financial losses.
If this sounds like a good plan for dealing with a discrimination accusation, reach out to a local law firm such as Vandeventer Black LLP so you can start to properly deal with the claim.