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How to Deal with EEOC Compliance and Hiring Anti-Discrimination Laws

If you discriminate against an applicant or existing employee because of age, race, creed, color, or religion, you may find yourself in court. As a business owner you know this, and it’s unlikely that you’ll put yourself in that position intentionally, yet even those with the best intentions often find themselves on the losing side of a legal judgment. You own the company, but you may not be the one doing the hiring. If you’re handling it yourself, you’re less likely to get in hot water. If you’re leaving that aspect of your business in someone else’s hands, you need to make sure they’re not discriminating or you will end up paying some hefty fines and legal fees. Here’s how to avoid that:

  1. Leave nothing to chance. Install some recruitment tracking software with EEOC compliance features to keep records of hiring practices. Your hiring manager may not be able to give you an honest answer if they’re discriminating, but the software will tell the story. If you’re not in compliance with anti-discrimination laws you’ll be able to see why and make corrections in a timely manner.
  2. Use your eyes and ears – they’re your most valuable assets. Reports and meetings will give you somewhat of a perspective on what’s going on in your company, but nothing compares to your own personal powers of observation. Take a walk around your facility and see for yourself if you have a diverse workforce. It should be fairly obvious. You may find after your first trip through that you need to make some changes.
  3. Advertise yourself as an equal opportunity employer. Encourage diverse candidates to apply for a job with your company by advertising yourself as an equal opportunity employer. This lets everyone know that you’re looking for the best in your field, regardless of what they look like, where they come from, or whether or not they have an accent when they speak.
  4. Take actions on violations immediately. Remember, you own the company and you will pay the price if anyone working for you discriminates against a fellow employee or potential hire. When you are alerted to a situation, take action immediately. If you wait, the chances of a law suit being filed against you increase. Patience and tolerance on discrimination issues are not looked upon kindly by the courts. Prompt and decisive action needs to be taken.
  5. Make sure you have web based recruiting software and check it frequently. A computer is only as smart as the person using it, and often the person can be smarter. There are those who practice intentional discrimination in the workplace and some of them could be working for you. Entries may be deleted if they are self-incriminating. Make sure you check your software and databases regularly for any suspicious looking activity. If an inordinate number of entries have been removed or tampered with, look into it right away. Your IT people should be able to tell you where it’s coming from.

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