Most employees are somewhat aware of their rights in the workplace. This is largely a great thing, as employers who are inclined to discriminate against their employees can be held accountable. However, the same wave that is rightfully empowering employees about their rights in the workplace has also given rise to false accusations.
Unfortunately, it is not unusual for disgruntled employees to make false discrimination claims especially after they’re terminated. Any claim of discrimination, true or not, can greatly hurt the employer’s reputation.
So what do you do if an employee files a false discrimination claim against your business? Take immediate action to protect yourself and your business. Here are a few things you should do to protect your interests:
Resist any urge to retaliate
It is normal to feel angry when news of a false discrimination claim reaches you. While this is completely understandable, you need to keep a cool head on your shoulders.
Calling your accuser or sending them harsh emails can only hurt your case, and so are retaliatory actions like dismissing, disciplining or demoting them (if they’re still employed with you). Remember, there are several laws in place that protect whistleblowers against employer retaliation.
Document everything you remember about the incident that might have triggered the allegations. Put your thoughts together on record, especially what you remember about the incident in question.
If there were witnesses, be sure to include them in your notes. Get copies of emails, text messages and voicemails that relate to the incident. If you issued warnings before you disciplined or terminated the employee in question, be sure to keep a copy of the formal warnings that you issued.
An accusation of discrimination in the workplace can be very disheartening. If this happens, it is important that you know what steps to take to protect your business’ interests.