What can employment lawyers learn about prevention and resolution of employee disputes from the Don Imus story?
* The rules of engagement have changed . . . if an employer doesn’t have a policy against discrimination, publish one now;
* All employees, from the top of the org chart to the bottom, but particularly the top, must be trained to know what the rules say, how they will be enforced, and what each employee’s responsibility is to enforce them;
* When it comes to discrimination, some infractions will not be subject to progressive discipline;
* Speed and decisiveness sends a clear message that all employees and customers can understand.
As succinctly summarized by DiversityInc.com (April 12, 2007): Racial incidents are no longer a side issue for companies like this. What these companies do and how they’re perceived affect everything, including employee morale and retention. It’s really hard to be proud of a company that exhibits no moral fiber, and in our “YouTube” society, you have a “New York minute” to make the right choice.