Employers try their best to keep their employees happy, yet most of the times it’s not enough to retain their top talent. Sometimes it’s not even enough to protect themselves from their retaliation. Employees face tons of hidden issues at work from harassment to bullying, which can come from colleagues and even superiors.
Since their employers are the ones responsible for their safety and protection, they are the ones that face the retaliation. Every day thousands of cases are dragged in court from an employee against an employer on the grounds of mistreatment, demeanor, harassment, bullying, and false termination.
In this blog post, we are going to discuss the most common reasons employers get sued for and how they can prevent it.
1. Discriminating between two employees of the same position.
When two employees of similar or equal positions in an organization receive different treatments, conflict is basically inevitable. Every day multiple cases are filed against employers for discrimination against sex, race, age, and nepotism. Quite a lot of times the actual reason is none other than puerile ignorance towards one’s own behavior and the result is unintentional favoritism.
Make sure that you treat them equally without any bias. If you’re going to discipline one of your employees on the grounds of vandalism at the workplace, make sure it’s no different (permissive or harsher) than your response to the same offense from a different employee at the same level.
However, there are some particular scenarios that might require you to treat them a little differently. For example, if an employee with a disability requires accommodation, you can’t just refuse the request based on “we don’t do this for anyone else of your position either”. You need to provide that employee with appropriate accommodation he/she requires. As a matter of fact, you are required by law to do so.
2. Unequal Pay between two employees of the same position
Many times, two employees could have been hired for the same position at two not-so-distant intervals, and one could have negotiated better pay than the other. This could result in some serious discrimination lawsuits based on how your employees interpret it. Most of the times, this happens with women employees as they are more agreeable in nature than their male counterparts. It’s one of the most contributing factors for the widespread gender pay gap in the workplace. It’s fair to say that employers are not completely at fault in this regard, but an underpaid employee and a Judge won’t see it that way.
Even though there are also some instances where men are paid less than their women counterparts (since some women are more negotiating and some men are more agreeable), the only time it’s going to cause you any trouble is when it shows any possibility for discrimination. Since you can be sued even if you don’t discriminate, it’s best not to show any reason for it. Monitoring the daily activities of your organization and sniffing out any inconsistencies is really critical. Whenever you find out that two employees of the same position are not being paid equally or given the same benefits (keeping in mind, other factors like previous experience and negotiated office timings), make sure you correct that right away. Make sure you provide your employees with the proper means to report such grievances without fear.
3. Workplace harassment or failing to prevent workplace harassment.
These are probably the most serious lawsuits a company or an employer could face nowadays. Following the Weinstein effect, countless cases are piling up in the court of law every day where women are coming forward to report their experiences of sexual misconduct and harassment in the workplace. Employers and companies are having a hard time defending against all the million-dollar lawsuits and it’s leading to giant corporations shutting down due to actions of a single or a few individuals.
Any other article will tell you to implement a zero-tolerance anti-harassment policy. While that is the first step to prevent harassment in the workplace, it’s insufficient to leave it at that. The problem requires more than just a simple one-step solution. You need to have training programs for managers and employees in place down the line. Also, If employees face any issues like harassment or bullying in the working environment, they are far less likely to report it to a superior face to face than to report it anonymously. Due to such sensitive nature of these issues, employers need to establish a means for employees to report them without revealing their identity. Employ YourSafeHub in your organization to prevent your employees from workplace harassment and bullying with the means of secure anonymous reporting.