Providing legal excellence for over 65 years in Kentucky

Trucking companies should know about rules targeting harassment

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2023 | Employment Law For Employers

Kentucky businesses are justified in worrying about employment lawsuits being filed against them. Today’s landscape is such that employees who believe they were mistreated will automatically seek a legal claim to receive compensation. This is true even if the employer was well within their rights to take certain actions.

When new laws, rules and guidelines are put in effect, it is important for companies to be aware of them and to be in full compliance. For industries with a history of allegations of harassment based on gender and race, it is even more vital to be prepared. A new set of requirements are possible for the trucking industry. To avoid costly legal claims, companies need to be proactive and protected.

Know what the new guidelines entail

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is planning a draft to outline guidance for harassment in the trucking industry. This primarily impacts women and minorities. The plan started in 2017. To address harassment, it stresses leadership, accountability, harassment policies, complaint procedures and comprehensive training.

When the EEOC began crafting its guidelines, it considered several incidents that had happened around that time. One included an African-American trucker who was terminated because he lodged a complaint about being harassed over his race. The EEOC noted there were 66 workplace harassment claims in fiscal year 2018. Forty-one were over sexual harassment. This was an increase by half when compared to the previous year.

Companies are advised to have a system in place that gives employees an outlet to make complaints and an investigatory process to try and come to a fair determination. Then the company can act accordingly.

Employers need to defend against employment law complaints

These cases are often viewed from the perspective of the allegedly aggrieved employee. However, employers are often unfairly castigated for allegations that are either untrue or were part of a misunderstanding. Employers need a viable defense for employment law claims just as employees do when they are lodging a claim.

Many cases can be negotiated without the need to go to court and engage in costly litigation. Sometimes, the employer was in the right and followed the proper protocol. In certain instances, the employer was adhering to the law.

This is true whether it was with terminating an employee, investigating allegations of harassment, crafting employer-employee agreements, paying severance, giving a person time off based on the Family and Medical Leave Act and wage disputes. These types of cases can not only be damaging to the morale, but it can cast the business in a bad light. Being prepared is imperative.

For a full understanding of the laws that are in place and new laws that are being enacted – as well as crafting a defense when allegations are made – it is vital to be shielded with comprehensive guidance based on employment law.