Montana employers: Don’t get stuck in a discrimination suit

Running a business is an incredible responsibility, particularly when it comes to hiring and firing employees. The people who work for you are essential to the success of the company, so it is important that you take seriously the laws regarding employee protections.

For instance, it can be critical that you take steps to prevent discrimination claims. These claims can be particularly damaging to a company’s image and reputation, so it is a good idea for Montana employers to consider some important and effective ways to avoid a discrimination lawsuit.

  • Know which classes are protected. There are groups of people with certain characteristics who are specifically protected from discrimination. For instance you cannot discriminate against people based on their gender, religion, national origin, age or disability.
  • Take seriously any reports of alleged discrimination. Employers may not be the ones specifically engaging in discriminatory behaviors. However, they are held responsible, so it is critical that you take action to address discrimination complaints from employees as soon as they arise. Failure to do so can lead to a lawsuit.
  • Address discrimination in the employee handbook. Making sure you clearly state your commitment to fairness in the workplace by putting it in the employee handbook can be wise. It will also ensure all your employees are aware of their rights and obligations.
  • Consult an attorney if you have questions. If you aren’t sure about a specific employment decision and whether it may be considered discriminatory or not, then you can benefit greatly by talking to an attorney first. This can keep you from making a costly mistake.

These can all be effective ways of protecting yourself as an employer against claims of discrimination.

However, allegations might still be made against you or your company. If a dispute does arise, you have the right and opportunity to respond. With the help of your employment law attorney, you can take the legal steps necessary to protect your business.

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9.2David J. Steele II
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