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.