Our post of April 9th set out what we called our “Ten Best Tips To Stay One Step Ahead Of The EEOC.”   Readers supplied a couple more tips:

Dwayne Clark, a conflict resolution professional in Jacksonville, Florida:

“I like all ten of your recommendations.   I would caution the use of “zero tolerance” because this implies “all or every case without exception.”   If not used very carefully, it may come back and bite you in your derriere.

My recommendation is leave your company some room for inconsistencies that could bring on different circumstances and you can issue different investigative results. You can still take affirmative steps and retain an effective deterrent to harassment issues.”

Tracie Zimmerman, a mediator and executive coach in Houston:

“This is great list and nice article! Sounds reasonable . . . but the workplace is an environment of human beings and we humans complicate it.

In one segment of the mediation certification courses I conduct, we discuss bias and prejudice.  I then provide scenarios from everyday life and corporate America and the participants decide whether prejudice or bias is involved in the scenario. This session is always critiqued as a favorite segment . . . and not one group of practicing attorneys and former judges yet that have been able to agree on whether the various scenarios involve bias or prejudice!

In the workplace, each employee arrives at work with a set of values, experiences, preferences, and beliefs which is the lens by which they see the world. How we see the world, is how we believe it to be.”

Have An HR Department?

On April 9th we wrote that “the Wall Street Journal published an article which discussed the pros and cons of having an HR department, and began:  “Sometimes the only thing worse than having an HR department is not having one.”

William “Bill” Wilson, a consultant in the Chicago area, made the following comment:

“Having one is only a plus when they know, and follow the law.  Unfortunately, it’s too easy to find HR departments who don’t have a great deal of respect for the law, constantly challenge – or worse, ignore – the limits, and then wonder why they find themselves in trouble.  You need only review a sampling of the case law over the last 20 years to convince yourself that compliance was not the top priority for the HR departments at many companies.  And anecdotal evidence of the failures of HR personnel isn’t hard to find: one colleague told me recently that the hardest part of hiring an over 50 worker for his department was the flack he had to endure from HR.

Take a look at want ads if you want further proof:  some of them are age cases dying to be litigated. Ask anyone who has been in a job search what they think of most HR functions, and then be prepared to duck.”