Author: Lisa Pierson Weinberger, Mom, Esq.

When to Use This Policy

Federal, state and local laws require employers to provide equal employment opportunities and prohibit discriminatory conduct by employers that is based upon, or motivated by, an employee's membership in a protected class. Employers can be liable for discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or certain classifications based on genetic information, and other characteristics protected by state or local laws. As a result, employers have an obligation to ensure that all applicants and employees are granted equal opportunity within their organization.

Every employer should have an EEO policy in place that is provided and communicated to all employees, as well as internal EEO procedures that are followed by HR and management when making personnel-related decisions. Such policies and procedures, if enforced, will help to prevent unlawful discrimination, will aid in the defense of any lawsuits or administrative charges based upon the violation of EEO laws, and will be useful as evidence in any investigation or disciplinary proceeding.

Below is a model policy that should be further tailored to fit the employer's specific needs