There is a lot that goes into running a business, including maintaining a happy and successful workforce. Unfortunately, some employees are simply not the right fit and moving forward with a termination is in everyone’s best interests. Even when you can justify these and other corrective actions, your current or former employees may still choose to accuse you of committing discrimination.
Workplace discrimination claims are a serious matter. As an employer, you understand how important it is to provide the same treatment and opportunities to all of your employees regardless of things like age, sex, race or religion. If, despite your best efforts, you are still on the receiving end of a workplace discrimination lawsuit, you should take the time to gather documentation that supports your side of the story.
Performance evaluation documents
You should be documenting all performance evaluations with your employees. The information contained within these evaluations can often be pivotal in defending yourself against discrimination claims. Ideally, the documentation should include information about a worker’s overall performance, including:
- Whether an employee is punctual or habitually late.
- If an employee completes his or her work on time or frequently asks for extensions.
- Details about any conflict with co-workers, clients or customers.
- Plaintiffs in discrimination lawsuits often assert that they were ideal or otherwise excellent employees. This assertion should support the claim that their employers mistreated them for other reasons, such as their gender or race. Having documentation of poor performance evaluations can help counter that claim.
Proof of messages
It might seem like a pain to try and keep track of every email, text message, slack message or other type of communication. However, maintaining a careful log of employee communication can come in handy. For example, a former employee might claim that he or she should have received a promotion because supervisors praised his or her work performance. If you have proof of communication criticizing that worker’s performance, his or her argument might go out the window.
Not only do workplace discrimination lawsuits disrupt business operations, they also negatively impact public perception of your company. This can be exceptionally demoralizing, but it is far from an impossible situation. Having a firm understanding of what constitutes discrimination, as well as clear documentation of your own behaviors, can be useful for forming a strong foundation against discrimination claims.