Running a business can be both an exciting and profitable venture. Even when it is a pleasant experience, there are many facets that business owners have to think about, particularly when dealing with employees. One issue that can come up for an owner of any type or size of business is discrimination. Business law around employee discrimination can vary not just state to state, but it often depends on business size as well. Here are some helpful explanations on employee discrimination for Michigan business owners.
There are several different types of discrimination, but some of the most familiar include discrimination based on race, gender, age and religion. Essentially, employment discrimination happens when an employer or manager bases an employment choice on a stereotype or prejudice of a protected class. Sexual harassment is a bit different, in that it means an employee experiences a hostile work environment due to suffering unwanted sexual advances or conduct.
Certain small business owners may not have to follow all anti-discrimination laws, but they are required to offer wage parity for the same job between genders. Even so, a business owner or manager who receives a discrimination complaint from an employee should treat the matter seriously by investigating what happened and finding a resolution if necessary. Firing or reprimanding an employee for such a complaint is also a bad idea as it could lead to litigation in the future. A good rule of thumb is for every employer to make any reasonable accommodation an employee requests that may pertain to his or her protected status.
Even following this advice, there may be times when an employee brings forward a claim of employee discrimination. This issue and other business law matters are why it may be helpful for business owners to work with an attorney here in Michigan who understands the different facets of business and employment law. It can help prevent issues before they arise as well as manage any matters that may develop in the future.