EEOC is an ever-present threat for any employer. It can strike down anytime unexpectedly and can cause you to lose money and your precious time. You can also hire an EEOC attorney to handle your EEOC complaints for you, but it doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. By far, the best way to deal with EEOC charges is to avoid them altogether. Luckily, there are ways to ensure that you have the least likelihood of getting charged with an EEOC complaint. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Avoid personal questions when interviewing:
You are hiring for an available position in your company. You publish a job posting, get plenty of responses, shortlist a few dozen people and invite them for an interview. After a whole day of interviewing folks, you manage to find a person fitting for the job. But, a few days later, you get charged for discriminatory behaviors while recruiting new employees even though you had no such intentions. What could be the cause?
The reason why someone felt like they were discriminated against, even though that’s not the case, is because you weren’t careful with questions. What might look like small talk can look like attempts at discrimination against someone. When doing an interview, don’t ask about the ethnic background. Don’t ask about family or kids. Don’t ask about their financial background. Don’t ask about religion. If you do ask these things from someone, and they later get rejected, they will associate it with the questions you asked, “They probably didn’t hire me because I’m a Muslim.”
Keep good documentation:
A fired employee can go up to the EEOC and claims that you fired them because of their race or sex or something when in reality, it was due to their incompetence. But, if you don’t have thorough documentation that proves your point, you would have a hard time defending yourself in front of the EEOC investigator. Thus, always record everything in extensive detail.
The easiest way to do it is to keep a personalized file for each employee. Record things like their performance, attendance, behavior, communication, violation of company rules, and regular reviews. This way, if you do end up firing them, you will have well-documented proof of your reasons, backing you up in the EEOC charge case. Even if an argument or issue occurred verbally, take a written note of that afterward.