Companies in New York and throughout the country are encouraged to do whatever they can to create an inclusive culture that’s free of discrimination. Doing so will prevent lawsuits that could damage a company’s standing in the eyes of the public. In some cases, legal fees may cost as much as a company might be ordered to pay an employee if a court rules in its favor.

While a case is pending, employees may have to spend time organizing documents and engaging in internal investigations. An internal investigation may prove to be a significant distraction for the company as well as cause a drop in employee morale. Ideally, businesses will make it clear that harassment or discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. Employers should stress that retaliation against those who make a sexual harassment or other type of discrimination claim is a form of discrimination.

Managers and employees should receive training to help them learn more about what discrimination looks like and how to stop it. Ideally, supervisors will be empowered to prevent discrimination before it occurs. If a discrimination complaint is made, companies need to conduct an investigation into an employee’s allegations as quickly as possible. The company handbook should indicate the steps that the company will take and the penalties that those engaging in discriminatory behavior could receive.

Attorneys who understand employment law for employers may be able to help an organization involved in a dispute with one of its workers. For instance, they may ask for a summary judgment to have the matter dismissed without the need for a trial. Legal counsel could also help a company develop anti-discrimination policies or other policies that might provide protection against liability if an employee feels that he or she has been treated unfairly.