Don’t assume that just because you have a written anti-bias policy, you’re safe from legal trouble. Your firm must also have an aggressive education program. That’s the message from a federal appeals court ruling last month against Wal-Mart, which said a company must do both to ward off punitive damages for vicarious liability. The case: Wal-Mart fired a hearing-impaired worker, then rehired him. The EEOC sued on his behalf. The company claimed it had demonstrated good faith with its written equality policy. But the court said Wal-Mart must also teach its employees about the Americans with Disabilities Act. (EEOC v. Wal-Mart, 10th Cir., No. 98-2015, 1999)
Your employee handbook can be an invaluable organizational tool … or an employment lawsuit waiting to happen. And in recent years, Congress and state legislatures have been busy enacting laws that directly affect your employee handbook. If you haven’t kept up, you could find yourself in court....Click here to find out more.