With the increase in sensitivities to gender and race discrimination and the resulting lawsuits, more corporations are seeking ways in which to help cater for the divisions in gender and background of employees.
Sexual harassment suits have gone up in the light of the #metoo and many other ethnic-related and religious identities are not holding back when it comes to taking behavior that they do not approve of to the courts.
Some suits have gone so far to include the following words in their pleadings as proof of an alleged racist or sexist culture:
A consumer bureau “maintains a biased culture replete with harmful stereotypes regarding its racial minority and female employees that infect its policies and decision-making, including performance evaluations, compensation, and promotions.” (U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau have charged they were discriminated against by officials of the bureau once headed by Cordray.)
In that suit, the bureau has responded by stating Cordray “worked hard to build a more inclusive and diverse workplace, launching initiatives to ensure women and minorities receive fair treatment and fundamentally reforming the management practices of the bureau. Civil rights leaders stood by Director Cordray then, and they stand by him now.”
This has forced some companies to change their approach when it comes to steering away from segregated groups within a workforce environment. People who are not included, do not divest and are more likely to drive up costs for employers overall. Disgruntled, angry employees take it to the news and courts, leading to bad publicity and unnecessary costs.
One measure companies can take to make a workplace more inclusive is to create “safe space environments”, where people can open up, exchange, share and even discuss solutions. Companies need to know what is important to them in order to prosper. Stereotypes need to be broken, giving a new face to the future. Identities and business sell. Just look at the new Nike commercial. People need to feel that they have an outlet and that a brand vocalizes the opinion and sentiments of the public at large.
Disparate treatment tends to rely heavily on statistics that suggest that an employment practice has a discriminatory effect. Statistics cannot be used in its entirety to prove discrimination, though they are weighed. Hence, an adverse employment practice could be taken as a pretext for discrimination.
Empowering people comes from opportunity. A person given opportunity is more likely to be grateful and to continue to want to work in favor of a place that has an open door policy, that brings people together. This is why strengthening personnel management practices and enhancing diversity and inclusion efforts have become more necessary. Lack of proof of such efforts can even in some circumstances be used as evidence in court.
Design cannot just be inclusive and an afterthought. It has to be accommodated and planned subtly. No focus can be on particular one group. A calmer, happier workplace leads to more innovation as well. The responsibility can be seen as a legal and moral one.
Our Chicago employment law attorneys have handled many different types of lawsuits involving employment law issues including retaliatory discharge, unpaid wages, unpaid overtime, and sexual and race discrimination cases. Our Chicago area non-compete agreement attorneys have defended high-level executives and professionals, such as doctors, in a covenant not to compete, trade secret lawsuits and discrimination case. A case in which our firm defended a former Motorola executive was covered in Crain’s Chicago Business. You can view that article by clicking here.
Lubin Austermuehle a firm of Chicago employment and business dispute lawyers handles litigation over non-compete clauses for individuals and businesses of all sizes, including small or closely held businesses for whom competition from an ex-employee can be a serious threat. Our Chicago business lawyers with offices near Evanston and Lincolnwood have substantial experience in restrictive covenant and breach of contract cases, and we are proud of our record of strong results. We have successfully represented a number of doctors in non-compete, partnership, and other business disputes. We understand the complexities of physician partnership and non-compete agreements.
Lubin Austermuehle a Chicago business litigation law firm represents both plaintiffs and defendants in such cases, and can also help stop litigation before it starts by reviewing contracts to look for covenants and clauses that could create problems later. Our firm has also handled many shareholders and LLC disputes between owners of closely held corporations, and LLCs.
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