Many employees who file discrimination claims are on the alert for potential retaliation. That’s why HR should always check back with employees who file harassment or discrimination charges. If those employees report anything that smacks of retaliation, fix the problem right away.
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When HR finds out a supervisor has acted in a way that could be interpreted as offensive, take immediate action. That doesn’t necessarily have to include discipline. Instead, remind the supervisor that the behavior—though it doesn’t rise to the level that could be considered harassment—must stop.
It’s one thing to grant a reasonable accommodation request. It’s another thing entirely to make the accommodation happen. Once you have approved an accommodation, someone from HR must ensure the decision is implemented.
You must have clear rules in place for making personnel decisions—and you must follow those rules consistently. With good documentation, you then are able to show exactly how and when you made your decision. That can sometimes make the difference between a dismissed lawsuit and litigation.
Employers can’t just ignore it if an employee asks for time off as a religious accommodation. The better approach is to schedule the employee for work and wait for him to request time off for religious observances. Then carefully consider the request, and document your efforts and conclusions.