As employers, our clients are faced with the challenge of compliance with constantly changing regulations under the many federal and state laws that provide protection to employees in the workplace, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Genetic Information and Non-Discrimination Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and many others. Discrimination includes not only disparate treatment claims (such as workplace harassment based on an individual’s protected class status, or pay equity issues) but also claims of disparate impact and retaliation.
Employers have an obligation to prevent workplace discrimination, including harassment. While having a policy prohibiting discrimination and harassment is a good start, it is not enough. Employers must educate and train employees about the policy, implement the policy through consistent application and investigation, and effectively enforce the policy. Taking these steps can help an employer defend against claims of discrimination and harassment, particularly where a charging employee has failed to report discrimination under the employer’s policy.
Even when an employer does everything right, claims of workplace harassment or discrimination still happen. We represent and defend companies in administrative actions before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other federal, state, and local agencies relating to discrimination and harassment in the workplace, as well as in state and federal courts.
In order to minimize risk and mitigate potential liability, we provide our clients with proactive leadership training for management, as well as up-to-date guidance and advice on best practices to avoid charges of discrimination and harassment in the workplace. We also conduct workplace investigations and provide training to HR partners for proper handling of workplace discrimination complaints. At the agency and courtroom levels, our labor & employment attorneys have handled hundreds of discrimination and harassment cases up to and including trial, if needed.