A professor at Washington University in St. Louis is touting (and has applied for a patent) for what she calls the "antidiscrimination bond." Employees would buy the bonds on hiring, would earn interest on the money during their employment, but would forfeit the proceeds if they ever sued the company. The professor, Anne Marie Knott, says this would discourage (without illegally eliminating) candidates more likely to sue, and thus help employers feel less anxious about hiring women and minorities. Federal regulators have yet to weigh in on the legality of this idea.
Older workersExperienceWorks, a training and placement provider for older workers, recently surveyed 300 recipients of its "Outstanding Older Workers" honors. (One of this year's honorees is 101 years old and still on the job.) Perhaps unsurprisingly, these stars reported that they still feel age discrimination is a significant barrier in the workplace, and that employers too often assume that older workers can't perform because they can't learn new skills. In fact, ExperienceWorks says, while older workers learn differently, data indicate that they retain new skills better than younger trainees.
Harassment of menAbout 20 percent of harassment and hostile-work-environment claims are filed by men, against both male and female co-workers and supervisors. However, experts suggest that the true incidence of such harassment--especially of men by women--is probably greater, and that men are less likely to complain about behavior that, were the genders reversed, would obviously merit action. It's worth remembering that the laws themselves are gender-neutral, and that "man-bashing" in the workplace can create a hostile environment just as surely as sexist comments or actions regarding women.