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Managing employment disputes: put effective compliance plan in place

Under federal law, employers are required to abide by laws concerning discrimination and retaliation. Very often, these two issues go together, since retaliation is a common response to an employee’s filing of a discrimination complaint.

A recent example of this is seen in a lawsuit filed against Belmont Commons and Distinctive Management Services, alleging that her employer subjected her to discrimination and harassment, and then retaliated against her by ending her employment. The employer mistreatment allegedly occurred in April, when the woman was working as a bookkeeper with the real estate management firm. 

Sources aren’t clear about the employers’ treatment of the woman, but did say that she complained of race discrimination on the job, and that this was followed by retaliatory treatment in the form of negative performance reviews. When she complained of the retaliation, she was allegedly subjected to further retaliation and her position was posted before the employers conducted an investigation they had promised to carry out. After the woman’s termination, a Caucasian worker was reportedly hired in her place.

For employers, managing liabilities around employment law issues is not always easy. Escalation of interpersonal issues on the job can sometimes slip under the radar of employers who are watching out for things like discrimination and retaliation.

For employers, it is important to establish solid compliance policies and appoint appropriate individuals to be in charge of supervising their implementation and monitoring. Businesses can certainly benefit from working closely with an experienced attorney to ensure they put an effective plan in place to limit their exposure to liability in this area. 

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