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By not having clear and definitive policies on how your run your business can leave you vulnerable for lawsuits. One of the policies that cant leave anything open is your employment anti discrimination policy. We asked A. Harrison Barnes, attorney and founder of, what should be included in these crucial documents. Keep in mind, this is no way should be construed as an all-inclusive policy; it only serves as a starting point. You will also need to ensure you are in compliance with your states laws, too.
Heres what he had to say:

You must make it clear your company prohibits discrimination because of gender, race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, creed, physical or mental disability, age or genetic information. You must also include a statement along the lines of any other basis thats protected by any law on the local, state or federal levels are protected too. You must state that it is unlawful and will not be tolerated.
You must also define discrimination on both the state and federal levels; this is important because there can be small nuances that if left open, can leave you open for a lawsuit.
You must ensure each employee is aware of your companys reporting procedure and where it can be found. Your reporting procedure should reiterate your companys dedication of an immediate, objective and thorough investigation of each and every claim. You must then outline the repercussions of those found guilty of discrimination on any level. Your company policy ideally will include a clause that includes actions the leaders will take to prevent a repeat.

If an employee believes he or she has been discriminated against, there should be a uniform method of reporting it, including a point of contact who will take down the details of the incident, including the names of any witnesses, any pictures or other evidence and a signature of the one who feels discriminated against so that you can maintain an accurate timeline.
Further, your company should also outline the illegality of retaliation against anyone who seeks justice. Your employees should be made to feel safe anytime they report discrimination. And by doing so, youre also making it clear to those who might retaliate that their jobs are at stake if they do.

Finally, A. Harrison Barnes says its always a good idea to have your legal representation to take a look at your policy. They can easily spot any weaknesses or vulnerabilities and can help you close those gaps so that your language is not left open to interpretation. The founder says its important to check your companys policies from time to time to ensure it remains in compliance with any revisions to the law. You know you want a safe working environment, but your employees should know they have nothing to worry about, either.

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