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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Some supervisors are more forgiving than others. Many times, that means a marginal employee may never improve until a new supervisor arrives and insists on better performance. If that happens and the employee struggles to rise to the occasion, be careful before you terminate her.

When employees face progressive discipline and think they might be fired, they sometimes suddenly start complaining about alleged sexual harassment. The underlying reason may be legitimate—or it may just be a ploy to stop discipline. It doesn’t mean all discipline has to be put on hold.

Ever since enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, pay equity has been a hot employment law topic. In the intervening years, many employers have proactively gone over their pay scales and made adjustments after discovering apparent pay inequalities that crept in over the years.
The 7th Circuit recently considered for the first time whether an employee can be individually liable under a “cat’s paw” theory of retaliation under Section 1981. In Smith v. Bray the court held that an employee could sue an HR manager individually for retaliating against him by influencing the decision to fire him.

All employees are supposed to be treated equitably, regardless of their protected class. But just as each employee is different, so may discipline sometimes differ. To account for those differences, be very specific about the underlying reasons for your discipline.

An assistant professor at Chapman University will receive $175,000 and a promotion as part of a settlement in a sex discrimination lawsuit filed against the Orange County institution.

When two employees break the same workplace rule, the surest way to avoid a potential lawsuit is to punish both exactly the same. However, that’s not always practical or appropriate. That’s especially true if the conduct involved wasn’t exactly the same. Before making any final disciplinary decisions, look at the rule and the specific facts.

Stevens Transport, a Dallas-area trucking company, has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle EEOC charges that it refused to hire a paraplegic man for a management position due to his disability.
Scott Kody is suing the village of Schaumburg, claiming it discriminated against him when it stripped him of his fire-safety training duties three years ago.
The former HR director at J. Chris­­to­­­pher Capital has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the Manhattan ven­­ture capital firm, claiming the company’s founder stated that he only wanted gay men and beautiful women working for him.
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