• Employers Face High Stakes
  • June 3, 2009 | Authors: Brooke T. Iley; Christine V. Bonavita
  • Law Firms: Blank Rome LLP - Washington Office; Blank Rome LLP - Philadelphia Office
  • With the current economic conditions and the EEOC's renewed plan to identify and remedy systemic discrimination, employers are facing increased scrutiny with regard to thei employment practices. Additionally, with the dramatic number of layoffs each month, individual charges of discrimination are ballooning.

    Ms. Iley and Ms. Bonavita commented that the EEOC needs only one complainant or a mere suspicion that a discriminatory pattern or practice is occurring to initiate a company-wide investigation.

    Besides the time, effort and cost that goes into defending against such claims, employers also face extraordinary financial risks that could potentially cripple any organization's bottom line.

    Ms. Iley and Ms. Bonavita recommended that employers proceed with caution in preparing statements and submitting information in response to EEOC requests. If a charge is received, an employer should immediately and thoroughly investigate the allegations made.

    Employers should be proactive in reviewing their policies and procedures before they are forced to do so as a result of an EEOC investigation, Ms. Iley and Ms. Bonavita said.

    Other steps employers can take to prevent investigations include reviewing termination procedures, promotion protocols, evaluation processes, and other practices, and ensuring that the rules are fairly and consistently applied to the entire workforce.