Hotline? What Company Hotline?

hotline (1)If you are employed by a large corporation, you likely attended an orientation program where you were provided numerous materials such as employee handbooks and other corporate policies.  The company may have been transparent about a corporate hotline that an employee may call in the event they are subject to or witness discrimination or violation of ethics policies.  However, many companies are not so motivated to disclose this hotline because they benefit from an employee’s failure to engage the hotline in their affirmative defenses to discrimination complaints.  It is not merely enough to be subject to discrimination by another employee to succeed in a title seven claim.  The employer must be negligent somehow in failing to remediate the discriminatory acts or harassment.  The employee must provide sufficient notice to a “supervisor” who has authority to alter the terms and conditions of employment, human resources officer, or the “hotline.”

Many employees after the fact often complain they were not aware of an ethics hotline to report discrimination or harassment.  The employer knows that employees in orientation sign the handbook or such other policy manual without reading it.  The hotline is often disclosed in the employee handbook with a toll free number to call with a disclaimer that all calls are treated confidentially.  If you are ever subject to harassment or discrimination, call the hotline and take notes of the call. Memorialize the call by noting the time and individual you spoke with.  Maintain a record of the call by printing off your cell phone or home phone records.  Ask for a confirmation or reference number that may be assigned to the call and ask clear questions on what occurs with your complaint going forward.  It would be wise to ask the officer performing intake of the call to email or mail you confirmation of the call.  You will be well served to provide these records to your attorney if you claim leads to litigation and will increase the value of settlement or judgment.  The jury will look upon you as triers of fact with more credibility.  If you are in Tennessee, record the phone call.  As it is said, a good defense is a good offense.  Prepare yourself with the facts that will serve as the basis of a future claim or lawsuit.

About Roland

Roland was born in Nashville, Tennessee and raised in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. The first few years he resided in Paris, France with his mother who was French. In Hendersonville, he attended Beech Senior High School where played soccer and studied in the honors curriculum. Subsequently, he pursued two majors in political science and economics while graduating in three years.

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