Avoiding Sexual Bias Claims And Lawsuits

 In Assess & Protect

Avoiding Sexual Bias Claims And Lawsuits

Did you know that claims of sexual bias by men are on the rise?

How are YOU avoiding sexual bias claims in your organization?

We usually hear about women being treated unfairly on pay issues, promotional opportunities, etc.  Therefore, many people believe all sexual bias claims are made by women.

That is not the case.

Here’s a perfect example of why it is critical to make every effort to avoid sexual bias claims.  This example involves Razzoo’s, a Cajun restaurant chain based in Dallas, Texas. And it involved sexual bias claims made by men.

In late 2008, a group of male applicants, servers and bartenders filed a lawsuit against Razzoo’s management. Because they believed Razzoo’s was discriminating against them.

Unfortunately, Razzoo’s management had set up a policy that was clearly biased against men.

The policy required having an 80-20 ratio of women to men behind the bar.  As a result, that meant hiring managers selected more women than men for those jobs.  Most noteworthy, hiring data proved that male applicants were often more qualified.

In addition, Razzoo’s did not promote enough men from lower level positions to the more desired server and bartender jobs.  Naturally, the court conducted an investigation and discovered this policy.  Based on that discovery, Razzoo’s agreed to settle out of court and pay $775,000 to the men who sued.

The settlement also required Razzoo’s to spend at least $225,000 to hire human resources assistance.  They needed to retain the services of an HR consultant or hire an entire in-house HR department.

Here are 3 things business owners must do to prevent such sexual bias situations and associated penalties:

  1. Review your hiring, training, promoting and evaluating processes. Everyone must have fair and equal opportunities.  Make decisions that are NOT related to gender, race, color, marital status, religion, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual identity and sexual orientation.
  2. Reinforce this culture in all of your communications. Include information in policy and procedure manuals, employee handbooks, memos, training sessions, meetings, etc.
  3. Review and update job descriptions, job ads, and job classifications every year. Look for accurate and legal wording.  Any wording that may be considered sexually biased must be removed.

Companies need to focus on avoiding sexual bias claims. Prevention is the best way to avoid costly fines and mandated procedures.  Hire someone who knows the rules prohibiting sexual bias. Join our HR Coaching Inner Circle to get the help you need.

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