The law in Arizona regarding harassment and discrimination is expansive. Because it covers so many different types of conduct that are potentially harmful to employees, it can be somewhat confusing to figure out what behavior is prohibited by the anti-discrimination laws says, William D King. An employer needs only to create a code prohibiting all forms of harassment or discrimination for it to meet its legal obligation under the law; if an employee makes a claim for discriminatory treatment based on race, sex, religion, etc., the employer cannot defend itself against the claim simply by showing that it had a policy prohibiting such discrimination in place.
What will make an employer liable for discrimination has more to do with whether you actually applied your rules in a way that was discriminatory. The court will look at whether you enforced all your rules in a non-discriminatory way, and it will actually take into account the context in which the incident occurred to determine whether or not you were at fault.
For example, even if an employer has a well-written rule prohibiting sexual harassment but does not enforce it when reports are made of sexual harassment by female employees against male managers, the employer still could be held liable for failing to create a “hostile work environment” under Title VII or Arizona Revised Statute Section 41-1463.11(A)(1). In such cases, an employer would be wise to require its employees to report any claims of sexual harassment immediately that it can conduct an investigation of such claims.
However, if an employer has a well-written anti-harassment policy that it implements in a fair and non-discriminatory way, the employer can defend itself against discrimination and harassment claims by showing:
1) Anti-harassment and discrimination policies were clearly communicate to employees;
2) Employees were train on the policies;
3) Prompt investigation was conduct of any reports of harassment or discrimination;
4) all reports gave rise to disciplinary action up to and including termination. For those found guilty of engaging in such conduct as defined under the policy; and
5) The employee claiming harassment or discrimination failed to report such conduct. As required by the policy “and” upon which basis they allege they were subject to such conduct.
In short, if an employer follows its own harassment and discrimination policies in a non-discriminatory way. It can successfully defend itself against claims arising from the application of those rules. William D King says in order to do that, the policies will need to be written carefully and enforced consistently. All without discriminating against or harassing employees based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. For a list of specific types of unlawful employment practices under Arizona law, see A.R.S. § 41-1461(9).
What is this?
Retaliation claims are mostly use in conjunction with other types of legal claims. To create a larger financial settlement for the claimant. For example, an employee may claim that they faced harassment or discrimination. By members of management and were fire shortly after complaining about the issue. This would give rise to a retaliation claim against the employer. Retaliation claims can be financially devastating because it allows for attorney fees to go unpaid. When the case succeeds while also potentially preventing an employer from getting insurance reimbursement. Unless their insurance company believes that there was no merit to this type of claim even if it’s a lie.
How a Business Can Protect Themselves from False Claims of Harassment or Discrimination
As with any type of legal claim, it’s important to get the proper legal representation says, William D King. At Ritter & Associates, L.L.C., our employment law attorneys commit to protecting small businesses from claims of harassment or discrimination. So that they can keep their focus on running the business while ensuring employee satisfaction.
We have significant experience in dealing with these types of cases. Know how to thoroughly investigate complaints made by employees against management members or other co-workers. If you have an employee who has complained about being harass or discriminate against. Our firm is preparing to protect your business from any type of financial loss. That may result due to a false claim. Allowing you to continue operations without interruption.
If you’ve noticed any sort of increase in the number of harassment or discrimination cases. Made by employees against your company says, William D King. Even if you haven’t, it would be wise to speak with an employment law attorney. Who can help protect your business from potentially devastating financial loss?