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You work like a dog for the organization every day. You stay up at night trying to keep pace with the constantly changing rules and regulations of employment law. You’re even called to put your own career on the line when the organization is hauled into court. Why is that?
If you’re ever hauled into court to testify in a lawsuit against your organization, what you say, and how you say it, can sink your defense—or help you win. Here are the 10 weaknesses you must be prepared to defend:
Regular attendance is obviously a key job function for most of your employees. But despite your freedom to set and enforce attendance rules, you also face key legal hurdles to your attendance policy, including complying with the FMLA and ADA. Manage absenteeism by establishing a reasonable and specific attendance policy that incorporates your organization’s needs and the functional requirements of various work areas and employee functions. A sound attendance policy should cover all of the following:
Some employers ban discussion of religion at work, believing that talking about faith might constitute harassment or coercion of workers who aren’t members of a majority religious group. But such a prohibition can cause more problems than it solves.
More than a decade after creating their first sexual harassment policies, some employers may be getting lax. That might be especially true if they haven’t received any complaints. If that rosy scenario sounds like your organization, you might be courting trouble.
This may be tough to accept, but sometimes when an employee sues, you just have to be patient. It’s especially difficult if you know that the employee isn’t telling the truth. The judge hearing the case will probably see through bogus claims.
Q. Our company is considering anti-harassment training for all employees. Some managers and executive are concerned that this will stir up lawsuits. Do you recommend such training?
While many district courts have found that commuting to work falls outside of the realm of an employer’s obligation to provide reasonable accommodations for disabled employees, some courts have opted to expand upon the ADA by ruling otherwise.
Protect your organization from harassment lawsuits by focusing your attention on both preventive and corrective measures. Give every employee a copy of your anti-harassment policy. Train everyone to ensure they understand their rights and responsibilities.