Smaller firms tend to make the mistake of thinking that their business interests are not large enough to warrant a cyber-attack, but this is not the case. It does happen and small firms should do more to take care and protect their networks because cyber-attacks are becoming increasingly common. Too many managers think that they are too small to warrant attention from hackers, leading cyber security to take a backseat to more pressing business concerns.
In fact, research from the House of Representatives Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology showed that 1/5 of all cyber-attacks hit companies with 250 or fewer employees. Those that do get hit face dire consequences: 60% of them close with six months. Anyone in business is a target for a cyber-attack.
The first step to reducing your cyber-attack risk has to do with training employees about the risks in the information technology realm. It’s not necessary to train every employee about the finger details, but people who are aware of the risks tend to be less risky overall in their behavior. Talk about basic computer protection basics and enhance them as soon as possible.
Your next step should be to create company guidelines about security and technology policy. Walk through the policies about using personal devices on company networks and ensure that you have a reporting program in place to capture any network changes. Password policy should be discussed in person and documented with employees so that they know good guidelines for creating a password as well as basic rules like not keeping it on a sticky note nearby. Enforce protocols for lost or stolen devices and make sure that all employees are clear about the attack risks.
It’s an unfortunate fact of life that while most employers mean well when it comes to their employees, they are not always educated or informed when it comes to the laws that exist to protect employees against discrimination. It is therefore necessary for employees to educate themselves so they can protect themselves and inform their employers of the applicable laws.
Here’s what every employee should work to ensure their employer knows.
Discrimination Is Often Convenient
Most employers contacted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regarding discrimination do not believe they are guilty of discrimination, because their decisions are often based on practical matters. For example, when a member of the armed forces is called to duty, an employer may need to fill their job with a replacement, but be unaware that when the service member returns, they are required under The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) to re-employ that person in their old job with no changes in pay or benefits.
Employers should be aware that if an employee or former employee makes a discrimination complaint against them, the EEOC will launch an investigation regardless of the circumstances. An investigation may result in the EEOC seeking a lawsuit, or it may determine that no action is needed. An investigation is not in and of itself a finding of fault.
Employees Are Protected
Employers should also be reminded that once an employee has made a formal complaint of discrimination, even if the employer feels it is unjustified, they cannot take any steps to punish that employee through termination, reassignment, or reductions in pay or benefits.
Most employers intend to do well by their employees. The law exists to protect against the minority who would take advantage, and against accidental discrimination.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is something most employers don’t think about – or, sometimes, even realize exists – until the day they are contacted about a complaint. As a result, employers make several common mistakes regarding an EEOC investigation in Florida and across the country that can worsen their situation or even guarantee they are dragged into court with a bad outcome. As with other aspects of business, there are some key steps that an employer can take to mitigate the damage and limit the trouble an EEOC investigation causes.
Take It Seriously
Too many employers regard claims of discrimination as “nuisances,” and often regard the complainant as merely a disgruntled employee or former employee. EEOC investigations in Ft. Lauderdale and elsewhere have serious consequences, and must be taken seriously.
Assign an Attorney
One of the biggest mistakes employers make when served notice of an EEOC investigation is to allow a non-attorney to handle the process. While a manager directly involved or a Human Resources professional might seem a natural choice, EEOC investigations have a complex set of rules and procedures an experienced Florida attorney is best suited to handle. For example, every statement made during an EEOC investigation can be used later against you if the EEOC decides litigation is justified.
Prepare the Position
Every employer under EEOC investigation has the right to craft a Position Statement in which it can refute the charges and offer its perspective on the situation. The more thought and effort put into this document, the better your chances of escaping litigation. In the event of litigation, this document is often at the center of either the attack or the defense, so prepare it thoughtfully.
EEOC investigations don’t have to turn into lengthy nightmares – if you take proper steps.