Feel like you’ve heard a lot more from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over the last few years? There’s a reason why.
From 2005 to 2011, EEOC charges brought against companies rose by nearly a third (32.5%), up from 75,428 to 99,947. The number has decreased slightly since then—there were 89,385 charges in 2015—but the nature of the charges has evolved. While the overall trend may have reached a plateau, the rates of charges made on the basis of retaliation and disability discrimination have only increased.
These facts were confirmed by Stephen J. Roppolo, whom we recently interviewed for our Definitive Guide to Workforce Compliance. Steve told us that automotive dealers need to watch out for retaliation claims, and carefully document, communicate, and reinforce their policies across the board. An individual employee’s repeated complaints do not form the basis for the employee’s termination. The better you can prove that an action against an employee wasn’t taken because the person was a “nuisance,” the better off your dealership will be.
I’ll leave you with a quote from Steve’s interview that has really stuck with me:
“What we have found is that human error or oversight is the real risk area. It’s the perception of improper motivation resulting from inconsistent treatment of employees, and inadequate documentation. It’s the perception of unequal treatment between one employee and the other that creates the suggestion of discrimination. That perception becomes reality when you’re in a courtroom or even in front of an arbitrator. The little things that help create the perception of fairness can protect you down the line.”
This data is part of our forthcoming Definitive Guide to Workforce Compliance. Click here for more information about our guide—and look out for another statistic next week!