With the release of the EEOC Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for 2017 – 2021, it is time to take a look at your Complaint, Investigation and Prevention processes and procedures. The SEP outlines the EEOC’s principal areas of focus for the next four years. According to the plan, the EEOC will increase efforts to ensure that employers implement processes that will serve as a deterrent to violations. Will your current processes meet that requirement?
In short, the EEOC wants to see that employers are taking steps to prevent harassment and discrimination, which most frequently are based on sex, race, disability, age, and national origin.
To assess your prevention program, ask the following 7 questions:
- How often are your employees being trained?
- Is your training current and relevant?
- Are your managers actively looking for signs of harassment and discrimination in the workplace?
- Are employees encouraged to bring their concerns forth, and provided a safe and comfortable means of doing so?
- Does the company have a standard business processes in place that will allow immediate response to complaints in order to determine if an investigation is necessary?
- Is your investigation process compliant, consistent and unbiased?
- Does your process include a plan for returning to work after an investigation without judgment or retaliation?
I am hopeful that you are taking a sigh of relief right now because your processes are buttoned up. But if not, it’s time to add this to your priority list. And remember, InvestiPro can help. www.GoInvestiPro.com
You can review the entire EEOC Strategic Enforcement Plan at https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/plan/sep-2017.cfm, or read a simple overview provided by Fox Rothschild.