In this information age, most employees are somewhat knowledgeable about their rights in the workplace. And this is generally a great thing as employees can easily identify signs of discrimination and take immediate action to address the problem. Unfortunately, that very wave that rightfully empowers employees about their rights in the workplace can also be abused by disgruntled employees.
It is not unusual for a disgruntled employee to make false claims of discrimination in the workplace. This is especially common when an employee has been rightfully terminated or subjected to disciplinary action. So how do you address a false discrimination claim in the workplace?
Here are a few things you need to do to safeguard your business’ interest in the wake of a false discrimination accusation.
Do not ignore the accusation
The worst mistake you can make is to brush off the claim as invalid because you “played by the book.” Ignoring a complaint or failing to treat them with the seriousness they deserve will not make the matter simply go away. On the contrary, it will only worsen the situation.
Do not even think about retaliation
The second worst mistake you can make in light of a false discrimination claim is punishing the disgruntled employee in question. No matter how angry or upset you are, this is not the time to flex your muscle and attempt to demote, suspend or terminate the employee who falsely made claims of discrimination. You risk violating state and federal employment laws if you take this route, which may end up hurting your case.
Conduct an investigation
As a business owner, you have the responsibility to investigate every claim of discrimination made by your employees. To ensure impartiality, you may consider engaging a third party to carry out the investigation. This will prevent any further dispute should the outcome of the investigation be in your favor.
A workplace discrimination claim can have serious financial and legal implications for your business, whether true or false. If you have been falsely accused of discrimination in the workplace, it is important that you take immediate steps to safeguard your business interest.