When business owners start out their small business, there are a lot of concerns. At the beginning, they likely focus on choosing the right formation documents to create the best entity for their business. They want to maximize liability protection, minimize taxes and maximize their tax write-offs. What they may not be thinking about at the beginning though, is human resources practice to minimize potential discrimination lawsuits.
Should I think about HR policies now?
If you have any employees (yes, even one), then you need HR policies. When you are primarily focuses on building your business, you (or, one of your supervisors or managers) may do or say something that could be misconstrued. And, remember, all it takes is one litigious employee to kill a business in its infancy.
What can I do to settle discrimination cases easier and cheaper?
Once you reach 15 employees in Haddonfield, New Jersey, you are covered by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As such, without HR policies, your first inclination that you are facing discrimination charges will be a contact from the EEOC. And, at the outset, when this happens, ask for mediation.
If you skip mediation and go right to Haddonfield, New Jersey, litigation, then, be prepared to spend. Why? Because litigation is expensive. First, you will need an attorney, and in some states, that requirement is in the law, not just best practice. Second, that litigation could last for years. Why? Because, even if you win at the lower level, that opinion can be appealed. The next judicial decision can be appealed, and, depending on the nature of the case, even that next decision could be appealed. Plus, there could be issues that need to be appealed at each level. This means money and lost resources due to time, which could have all been avoided by mediation.
EEOC mediation is conducted by an independent, third-party that is trained by the EEOC to facilitate discussion and finding compromises, confidentially. It is a discussion amongst the parties to figure out a way to settle the case now, before the great expense of litigation. For the person filing the case, they also get avoid the years of litigation and get their “justice” now. This is why they usually want to enter the mediation process as well. Neither of the parties have anything to lose and everything to gain.
Is it successful?
Yes. In fact, it is over 70% successful! Plus, the vast majority of the mediations end with some kind of non-monetary settlement. What does that mean? It means that not only can you avoid a long, costly and never-ending Haddonfield, New Jersey, litigation, but also can settle this without paying the other party. It is a win-win for you.