Dear YouDig? Design Builder - Style Points

Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC
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Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC

Dear YouDig?

We are a design builder with jobs throughout Ohio and the Midwest. We have noticed an increase in workplace discrimination and hostility on many of the jobs we are running. This is definitely not our style but seems uncontrollable. What responsibility, if any do we have to eliminate or reduce the risk of this becoming a problem for us or our clients? Style Points.

Dear Style Points,

Partial congrats on being a DB that notices. However, are you also a DB that tolerates? Are you hoping for a reason to look the other way without being held responsible, or do you really want to take the necessary steps to help reduce discrimination in the work place and on your job? You undoubtedly have learned that you can’t control what your subcontractors and employees do. Even so, don’t look the other way because you remain responsible for their actions. Use your contractual power to forced preventative and punitive measures for bad actors. Act investigate thoroughly, swiftly and with conviction.

Expand the scope of your subcontracts to include sound employment practices and employee complaint procedures; these should become mandatory to being awarded the work. One idea is to incorporate an indemnity clause and/or a penalty if the subcontractor doesn’t apply or comply with your employment practices requirement. Others will learn to copy your style. Show them the way, be proactive and build a culture of intolerance for discrimination, YouDig?

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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