Auditing Employment Policies and Practices

Apr 19, 2024

By Frank J. Godfrey III

Employment practices and policies can provide employers a shield against liability exposure. Having solid policies and practices in place, however, is not enough.

It is equally important to periodically review these practices and policies to ensure they are in compliance with ever changing employment rules and regulations.

In fact, employment claims are now on the rise. For example, in 2023, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) initiated 144 class action-type lawsuits against employers alleging various violations of employment laws. These violations included claims regarding Title VII, ADA disability bias, age discrimination and pregnancy discrimination.

Employment claims are also on the rise in state enforcement agencies like Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries (“BOLI”) as well as in state and federal courts.

To lessen liability exposure, employers should perform an audit of current employment policies and practices. The audit should also include a review of all current job descriptions to ensure they accurately reflect the specific position’s duties and responsibilities given the various changes many employers enacted over the last several years. Keep in mind, accurate job descriptions are essential when dealing with ADA interactive process and reasonable accommodation fact patterns.

Employers would be wise to also consider related-training for supervisors and employees. EEOC and BOLI investigators along with judges carefully consider employer training efforts and practices when adjudicating employment disputes.

These considerations underscore the old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.