FARMERS BRANCH, Texas (8/11/14)--The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission investigated 93,000 charges of discrimination claims in 2013, with retaliation claims accounting for 41% of all charges. Credit unions are not immune from such exposure, a Credit Union Resources consultant told the Cornerstone Credit Union League.
Credit unions can reduce their risk by ensuring they have practices and policies in place to effectively handle any adverse action toward an employee, said Kimberly Jones, a human resources consultant with Credit Union Resources, which is a subsidiary of the league (Leaguer Aug. 8)
"Workplace retaliation claims are becoming increasingly more common and more expensive for employers," said Jones. "In order to protect your organization against retaliation lawsuits, it is imperative that you be proactive and not reactive."
A human resources (HR) audit is one proactive measure credit unions can take to minimize exposure to discrimination and retaliation charges, Jones said. An HR audit sets the stage in determining if the HR functions within the credit union are compliant, fair, adequate, and effective. The results of an audit can provide credit unions with the information necessary to decide what areas need improvement.
An HR audit should include a review of policies and procedures, employee files, forms, salary programs and other human resources areas. Credit Union Resources also provides credit unions with a written summary of the assessment and recommendations on those areas that may need to be changed or improved.
"Retaliation claims are easier to prove than other discrimination charges, and successful retaliation claims can be very expensive for an organization," Jones said. "An HR audit is customized to meet your specific needs, and can be a powerful tool in assessing regulatory and policy compliance in your organization."