Question

As a business owner, what preventative measures can I take to ensure I don't get sued for discrimination in California?

Alton G. Burkhalter - Business Litigation - Super Lawyers

Answered by: Alton G. Burkhalter

Burkhalter Kessler Clement & George LLP
Irvine, CA
Phone: 949-975-7500
Fax: 949-975-7501

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Answer

The best measures to take are:  

  • Have solid employee education through handbooks and training
  • Provide good, clear policies
  • Take the time to train your employees well and to create express written policies
  • Enforce these policies consistently   

When you get a complaint, address it right away and take all claims seriously. Do not put your head in the sand. Being proactive when you get a complaint is the number one way to avoid a lawsuit. Address all complaints thoroughly, fairly and honestly. As a business owner, you can’t be afraid of bad news. 

Listen to your employees

Employees don’t want to be ignored, they want to be heard. This is very important in mitigating claims.

Once an employee has voiced a complaint, you should promptly respond by investigating the complaint with both the victim and the alleged perpetrator.

When should an employer get a law firm or employment law attorney involved?

There are three ideal times to contact a lawyer.

  1. First, when you are developing and drafting the policies.
  2. Second, when you are training your employees.
  3. Third, for advice and assistance when responding to a complaint.

It should also be noted that whenever you are terminating an employee or contemplating terminating an employee, it may be in your best interest to work with an attorney to ensure you are taking the right steps.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

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