With employment disputes at an all-time high, better driver recruiting might just start with better HR policies.
After all, truckers will talk—and it can take just one legal claim (legitimate or otherwise) to poison your company’s reputation.
Employer-Employee Relations At A Low Point
Judging by the latest data on workplace legal actions and grievance, employer-employee relations finished 2010 in a dismal state of affairs. “We are getting a number of employers who had never had a complaint filed against them,” says Tiffany Miller, a law associate with Fisher & Phillips, a Chicago-based law firm that represents employers in labor and employment cases.
Economy To Blame
The weak economy as the reason for the increase can’t be overstated, Miller says, as complaints last year deluged corporate human resource departments, even those with the most politically correct companies that were previously free of blemishes.
Retaliation Charges Soar
The number of retaliation charges in fiscal year 2010 jumped to 36,258 cases, up from 33,613 in the previous fiscal year, the EEOC reports. In fact, for the first time, the number of claims alleging retaliation surpassed the number of race-discrimination claims, according to the EEOC.
Why? Savvy plaintiffs know that retaliation claims are easier to prove than discrimination claims, and as companies prepare for layoffs, workers sometimes can turn around and claim the layoff was in retaliation for a prior complaint.
Protect Yourself With Clear, Written Policies
If you make it clear your company has a “process of integrity” and follows its own policies to the letter, then employees thinking of filing a discrimination complaint will find it “hard to throw something up and have it stick,” Nealon says.
“Document, document, document,” Miller says. Make sure everyone in your company reviews the employee handbooks. Keeping employee reviews up-to-date and acknowledging workers who bring issues to the attention of their bosses will also help the company if and when it comes time to prepare for dispute.
Here’s the important part to remember: While we all want to protect our companies from negative consequences, better employment policies are an effective way to ensure your organization of more positive outcomes—starting with better driver retention and recruiting.
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