Mitigating a Company's Liability in Anti-Discrimination Lawsuits

1 June 2021
 Categories: , Blog


Anti-discrimination laws exist at the federal and state levels to protect individuals from discrimination based on protected classes. Anti-discrimination laws also protect workers from injustices by employers during hiring, firing, promoting, and negotiating pay. Companies ought to take measures to shield themselves from legal liability in discrimination lawsuits. Moreover, no company wants to spend money as compensation fees to discrimination victims. Consequently, companies should hire employment attorneys to protect their interests. The attorneys provide reliable legal advice on implementing anti-discrimination regulations and integrating requisite employment policies. Below, employment attorneys' essential roles are discussed.

Developing Anti-Discrimination Policies

Every company needs to develop a structure that addresses discrimination, safeguarding their employees' welfare. Discrimination at the workplace can either be direct or indirect. In some cases, the company may openly discriminate against a candidate or employee based on a protected class. In other instances, the discrimination may be unintentional. For example, a company may have some practices which, though non-discriminatory, have a similar effect. An employment attorney can develop a comprehensive anti-discrimination policy that guides all company activities, preventing potential liability. A comprehensive anti-discrimination policy focuses on hiring, firing, promoting employees, communication with employees, employee training, and sensitization on discrimination. Having an anti-discrimination policy ensures that the company complies with employment regulations regarding fair treatment. 

Acting as the Company's Legal Representative

Each party in a legal dispute can hire their lawyer. Therefore, an employment attorney can act on behalf of a company or a complainant. When the employment attorney works for a company, they are the company's legal representative in all matters involving discrimination claims. As a company's legal representative, an employment attorney represents a company in employment disputes before courts, government agencies, and negotiation settlements. The attorney reviews complaints made against a company and advises on the appropriate course of action. The employment attorney relies on their experience to prepare a proper defense that safeguards a company's interests. Otherwise, a company risks incurring negative implications comprising compensation fees and negative publicity.

Updating Company Policies and Practices

After companies have developed anti-discrimination frameworks, the company still needs to keep the policies updated. Company policies and practices should reflect federal and state laws. Thus, a company must hire an employment attorney to review and update its employment discrimination policies regularly. Considering employment protection laws are growing to encompass gender identity and sexual orientation, a company should have an anti-discrimination expert to ensure compliance. Otherwise, it risks being sued for employment discrimination, incurring avoidable costs through compensation fees.