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Playing Fair

You promote fairly at your company-but you'll have to prove it when the EEOC comes calling.

This story appears in the April 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

It's easier than you think to protect your company fromdiscrimination lawsuits-it just takes good documentation and no,well, .

"Most employers don't discriminate. They're tryingto run a business and want to promote the most productiveemployees," asserts attorney Jon Miller of Berger, Kahn,Shafton, Moss, Figler, Simon & Gladstone in Irvine, California.The fact that an excellent employee is from a minority group, overage 50 or coping with a disability wouldn't stop you frommoving that employee into a job you need done right. Even so, whenyou have two assistant managers who've been working for you forthree years, and you promote the white man to manager and not theblack woman, it can look like illegal discrimination. That'swhy entrepreneurs must be careful when deciding who to promote andensure that decision is well-documented.

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