Anniversary Issue, MAY 1997
your company be the target of a racial or gender
discrimination lawsuit? Smaller companies are
not immune - and the risk is rising. The 1991
Civil Rights Act allows lawyers who prevail in
employment bias cases to charge double their usual
hourly rates and sometime more. Not surprisingly,
discrimination cases are on the increase.
way to protect your company is to be proactive:
Analyze your employees attitudes, and, if necessary,
implement diversity training. Thomas Rundquist,
president of Nova Counseling Associates,
Inc. in Big Rapids, Michigan, has developed a
test that can evaluate on a variety of biases
(racial, ethnic, gender, religious and more).
If a problem is identified, Nova can determine
an appropriate corrective strategy.
test costs about $1 per person, plus an administrative
fee, which ranges from nominal to as much as $3,000
if he handles the setup and evaluation. However,
"companies can do most of it themselves."
says Rundquist, who adds, "This test is set
up so a small company can test its people at a
preventing discrimination and lawsuits, Rundquist
also says testing can also be a defense if you
are sued. Test results on file will show whether
you had problems, and, if so, what you did to
correct them. As an additional protective measure,
Rundquist recommends maintaining relationships
with organizations that deal with diversity and