Discrimination and Harassment

Discrimination and harassment claims often increase in a down economy. Learn the proper techniques for conducing proper workplace harassment investigations, providing sexual harassment training, and more to reduce claims of employment discrimination and preventing sexual harassment in the workplace.

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Here’s yet another reason to stop employees who sexually harass female co-workers, subordinates or customers: Men who work in that environment but refuse to join in can also sue for sexual harassment. It’s not just the harassed women who have claims.
The Goodhue County Board has dismissed sexual harassment complaints against three county employees, finding the charges unsubstantiated. A female employee of the county Veterans Services Office complained that her new boss created a “hostile work environment” for her and that county officials “retaliated” against her after she filed her complaint.
A long-time security guard in the Philadelphia School District has filed a religious discrimination suit following the district’s decision to change its grooming policy. The new policy says male employees’ beards can be no longer than a quarter of an inch.
A long-running legal battle between a former women’s golf coach and the University of Minnesota has taken another turn. According to the golf coach’s attorney, problems began when the head of the university’s golf program found out that the new women’s coach was gay.
Mankato-based Baywood Home Care faces a charge that it discriminated against a home health care aide who has fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. The EEOC has filed suit against the company, alleging it relied on stereotypes of disabled persons when it decided to fire the woman.

While HR professionals certainly should strive to create a respectful, courteous and pleasant workplace, don’t worry too much if you fall short. The fact is, supervisors sometimes play favorites and exhibit questionable judgment.

A federal judge has denied a motion to dismiss a claim of disability har­­ass­­ment against an employer whose CEO is accused of referring to an em­­ployee who walks with an abnormal gait as a result of a stroke as “a cripple.”

Employees who sue for retaliation sometimes try to bolster their cases by claiming others who complained also experienced retaliation. Until recently, courts hearing California cases had limited so-called “me too” evidence to very similar cases.

The EEOC had one of its long-running cases dismissed after a federal judge in Buffalo criticized the commission’s handling of a discrimination case against Sterling Jewelers.
A federal judge has affirmed a jury award to a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Mike Adams claimed university administrators praised him when he was an atheist, but black-balled him after he became a Christian.
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