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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Most workplaces now reflect the nation’s increasing diversity. Don’t let that worry you. An employee can’t sue just because a ­manager who makes employment decisions belongs to a different racial group.
Make sure you evenly apply your leave policies to all employees.
Here’s one less thing to worry about when preparing performance reviews: Employees can’t use a poor review as an excuse to sue unless they can show it affected their job in some significant way, such as making the employee ineligible for a pro­­motion.

While family responsibility discrimination (FRD) is not a new protected category (and no federal law expressly prohibits employment discrimination against caregivers), a number of laws provide protection for employees with caregiving responsibilities.

Some disabled applicants or employees will never be able to perform their jobs. However, you can only reach that conclusion after both sides engage in the interactive accommodations process. If no accommodation will let the person perform the job’s essential functions, you can terminate an employee or reject an applicant.
A black man who was fired by the Fayetteville Public Works Com­mis­­sion (PWC) has filed a race discrimination lawsuit alleging that the commission consistently favors white employees over black employees.
Here’s a hint for defending your company in a discrimination case: Don’t even think about arguing that an obviously offensive ethnic slur is ambiguous or not offensive at all. It won’t get you very far with most judges.

Fired employees who file lawsuits alleging they were singled out for discipline because of some form of discrimination usually follow a basic legal strategy. They try to find a former co-worker outside their protected class who was punished less severely for similar conduct. Your best defense against those lawsuits is to make sure you carefully document all discipline.

Before you begin talking to candidates, make sure everyone you selected for an interview opportunity is among the best qualified, and that you haven’t passed over anyone who is obviously as well-qualified as other applicants. That’s the best way to avoid a needless failure-to-hire suit.

Courts are losing patience with employees who are overly sensitive when it comes to joking and off-color comments in the workplace, and are tossing out flimsy lawsuits because it’s not their role to manage workplaces.

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