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Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policies for Small Businesses

Illinois employment law attorneysState and federal laws require that most employers have anti-sexual harassment and anti-discrimination policies in place. Even when not required by law, it is a good idea to have these policies. They can create the sense of a safe work environment, and they can also help ensure compliance with state and federal harassment and discrimination laws. Learn how to develop an anti-discrimination policy for your small business, and where you can find assistance with help from the following information.

Anti-Discrimination Policies

An anti-discrimination policy is meant to communicate the employer’s obligations to the employee. These policies typically include verbiage that lets employees and potential employees know that decisions regarding employment offers, raises, and promotions are not made based on an employee’s gender, religion, marital status, national origin, or sexual orientation. Keep in mind that each state has its own requirements regarding anti-discrimination language. An experienced business law attorney can help you develop your anti-discrimination policy to ensure proper compliance with both state and federal laws.

Anti-Sexual Harassment Policies

Anti-harassment laws can also outline an employer’s obligation to employees, but its primary objective is to communicate that certain behaviors are not permitted within the workplace. Such actions typically include any form of harassment that is based on an employee’s race, religion, gender, or other protected status. It may also strictly prohibit certain types of relationships within the workplace (i.e. supervisors may not have relationships with subordinates).

Most anti-harassment policies notify employees of their right to file a complaint without fear of retaliation from their employer or direct supervisor. Some companies define sexual harassment in their policy, and they may outline disciplinary measures for violations (i.e. termination). Mandated training for supervisors could be included in the policy as well.

Protecting Your Company from Litigation

Even with anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies in place, employers may be at risk for litigation if they fail to meet the terms. Another issue that may result in litigation is when a business fails to handle complaints in a timely and effective manner. Remember that employees who feel they have been victimized need validation. They need to know that their employer is taking the complaint seriously and that everything possible is being done to ensure a safe work environment. Not only can this improve overall job satisfaction for the entire staff, but it can decrease the risk of costly litigation.

Contact Our Seasoned Schaumburg Employment Law Attorney

There are many factors to consider when developing anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies. The Miller Law Firm, P.C. can help you cover them all. Dedicated to your company’s best interest, we will examine your company’s unique challenges and any existing policies to determine the next step. Call 847-995-1205 and schedule your consultation with our Schaumburg employment law attorney to learn more.

Sources:

https://www1.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/11-2-16.cfm

https://www.illinois.gov/dhr/Pages/default.aspx

 

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