Today the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the number of unemployed persons remains at 14.0 million and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent (in California, it’s even higher at 12.4%). The rate has shown little change since April. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was about unchanged at 6.0 million in August and accounted for 42.9 percent of the unemployed.
Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.9 percent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (25.4 percent), whites (8.0 percent), blacks (16.7 percent), and Hispanics (11.3 percent) showed little or no change in August. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted.
Why this matters for employers:
1. Statistics show that historically, there has been a near direct correlation between the unemployment rate and the number of discrimination charges filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Data from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The graph took a while to create but you are free to use it with the following credit “Law Office of Andrea W. S. Paris, www.andreaparislaw.com.”
Data from Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The graph took a while to create but you are free to use it with the following credit “Law Office of Andrea W. S. Paris, www.andreaparislaw.com.”
The reason for this trend is often that employees who are terminated and are unable to find employment become increasing frustrated as they face financial hardships. The frustration and lack of financial resources lead many to turn seek compensation from their former employers through charges of discrimination and lawsuits.
2. Responding to discrimination charges and defending discrimination lawsuits is expensive and a drain on your human and financial capital. Businesses have filed bankruptcy or closed their doors altogether. Are you ready to have the EEOC knocking on your door?
PRACTICAL TIPS: Stay current on the law and review your hiring, firing, leave, and disciplinary procedures. Ensure that those procedures are followed and document everything. Communicate with your employees. Let your employees know what is expected of them and if they don’t live up to those expectations communicate that as well. Did I already say document everything?