Don’t Forget the EEOC Compliance

Michelle Benjamin – CEO of Benjamin Enterprises

CEOatBEI

When you hear the term Workforce Management, what comes to mind?  Most often, items like hiring, promotions, payroll, benefits, training and performance management come to mind. What about compliance and specifically compliance with EEOC regulations?  Compliance is an integral part of workforce management that often is either overlooked or under addressed. Many companies don’t have either legal counsel or certified personnel on staff to adequately ensure compliance. While others, have difficulty justifying the cost of engaging the resources to handle it for them. But can you really afford not to comply?

In 2011, the most recent reporting year, the EEOC handled 99,947 charges of employment discrimination and obtained $455.6 million in relief settlements. These charges included cases related to age discrimination, adherence to the Americans with Disabilities Act, gender discrimination and non-compliance to medical privacy laws. It is anticipated that for 2012, both the number of charges filed and the relief settlement amounts obtained will continue their upward climb. Now that you have heard these statistics, you may be asking yourself, so what do I do about it?

Here’s what companies both small and large need to do to adhere to EEOC regulations:

  • Know the law – All companies need to know how EEOC regulations apply to their business. Current regulations can be found at their website www.eeoc.gov. While the majority of EEOC regulations apply at the federal level, some states have additional regulations. For example, the federal regulations typically apply to companies with at least 15 employees, but some states have additional regulations that may apply to business with less than 15 employees. There are many aspects to the laws governed by the EEOC. While the regulations dealing with discrimination are most recognizable, there are smaller regulations that also apply. For example, did you know that if you have more than 15 employees you need to display EEOC posters in prominent locations?

 

  • Get Help – Due to the number of regulations and the frequency of changes to the regulations, many companies are deciding to outsource the compliance aspect of workforce management. Smaller businesses especially can benefit from this practice. For a fraction of hiring an employee, an external individual or company can assist with compliance to local, state and federal regulations. Prior to engaging with an outside resource, make sure that they are qualified and have all of the necessary certifications.

 

  • Train and inform your Employees – This is a critical component relating to compliance. As a company, you need to inform and train your employees about EEOC regulations. Many employees may not be aware that some of their everyday actions and interactions with others may be in violation of the law. This doesn’t need to be an in-depth description of every aspect of the law, but should include examples of accepted and non-accepted practices.

 

It may seem at times that adhering to all of the EEOC regulations is a moving target with no end in sight especially for small businesses. Add to that any additional local and state regulations and it can become overwhelming. Don’t get discouraged. There is help available. You can’t afford non-compliance.

With more than two decades of operational and talent management experience, Michelle Benjamin has developed a managed labor process to save businesses up to 35% off their labor budgets while gaining operational efficiency. Clients have ranged from corporate giants like Anheuser-Busch, Kohl’s Distribution, Consolidated Edison, General Electric, Entergy and United Parcel Service.