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Avoiding Lawsuits > Discrimination - Pg. 111

Staffing Up 111 · Check references. First, actually make the calls. You'd be shocked, simply shocked , at how many Mr. Hydes get hired because management was too harassed to call the references. Sec- ond, listen carefully: many ex-employers are wary of the retribution a negative reference can bring, so, as with stock analysts, you have to listen between the lines--lack of enthusiasm can be an indicator that there's something the reference would like to say but won't. · Conduct standard periodic performance reviews and keep written records. · Consider instituting a probation period for new hires, even if they are at-will employees. A pro- bation period with reviews after 1, 2, and 3 months communicates to new hires that their status with the company is still undetermined. · Get it in writing: Every worker should sign: · An Employment/Independent Contractor Agreement · Reviews · Complaints Discrimination Note regarding state regulations. Some expand the federal acts to all businesses regardless of number of employees. States vary on who is considered a protected class, for example, some states protect homosexuals from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but others do not. In a harassment/discrimination litigation, an employer wants to be able to prove it exercised its best efforts to prevent any poor behavior by employees. The following efforts will bolster an employer's argument that it did all it could to prevent the situation: 1. Policy guide. Every employer should give new employees a policy guide outlining prohibited actions and clearly stating where to report any violations, the procedures that the employees