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A material challenge for employers: workers’ discrimination claims

Jun 8, 2021 | Employment litigation

Successful businesses in Southern California and elsewhere across the country did not forge a sustained and profitable existence by chance. America’s commercial realm has an unquestioned survival-of-the-fittest quality linked with enterprise operations.

That means this: Some company principals sink, while others swim. The latter group is customarily marked by a proactive and forward-thinking mindset that calculates and responds meaningfully to risk.

Challenges to viability and continued growth are myriad and broad-based. Market conditions change. Rivals play hard and seek competitive advantages. Regulatory compliance issues are ever-present and evolving. Issues can arise with lenders, contractors, vendors, suppliers, and other parties, including employees.

The employer/employee dynamic: sometimes problematic

A qualified and motivated workforce is obviously the lifeblood of any business entity.

Conversely, employee discontent can prove starkly injurious for a company, especially when it surfaces in the form of complaints alleging on-the-job maltreatment.

That happens, of course, and routinely so. Many companies forge solid and productive relationships with their workers, but universal harmony is a fiction in the American employment realm.

A proven California legal source on employment law/litigation duly notes that. It stresses that “from time to time, in practically any business, complaints and disputes threaten to disrupt a business’s smooth operations.”

A proactive business response to a discrimination complaint

Company challenges often surface via complaints from one or more workers alleging discriminatory treatment. Accusations can cover a lot of territory, ranging from claims of a toxic work environment and retaliation to wrongful termination and other illegalities.

Discriminatory treatment meted out like that breaks a host of federal and state laws protecting employees across a number of protected categories.

An in-depth legal overview spotlights those varied classifications. And it duly acknowledges the seminal 1964 Civil Rights Act that authored safeguards against workplace discrimination based on race, religion, national origin and gender.

Notably, those protections were augmented in subsequent years by enactments addressing mistreatment targeting unequal pay, older workers and disabled employees.

The bottom line: There is an expansive umbrella of protective legislation workers can turn to when seeking to advance a discrimination-based complaint.

Company owners and supervisors need to anticipate that. Moreover, they need to forge a meaningful response that encompasses both remedial policies and training programs and the employment of forceful, after-the-fact legal responses aimed at maximum mitigation. An experienced employment law team can help materially with these objectives.