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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Q. For the first time in a while, we need to hire new staff. What issues should we take into account during the recruiting process?
Bosses may not like it, but em­­ployees have the right to complain about their working conditions. Characterizing those complaints as unfounded gossip doesn’t change that—and should never be a reason for termination ...
Marymount Manhattan College has settled an EEOC discrimination lawsuit that alleged the college discriminated against a 64-year-old choreography instructor when it denied her a tenure-track assistant professorship.
Workplace romance has long been the bane of the HR profession. A December 2012 Iowa Supreme Court decision in Nelson v. Knight has further roiled the workplace romance waters by holding that an employer could terminate an employee for being “irresistible.”
Smart employers use past per­­for­­mance rankings as the major criterion for laying off employees during a reduction in force. The reason is obvious: Since the rankings predate the layoff decisions, they’re almost impossible to challenge.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the EEOC have an­­nounced a settlement with two Texas state agen­­cies, resolving pay discrimination allegations at a state department that no longer exists.
Do you monitor all discipline and make sure employees who break the same rule suffer similar consequences? It’s the best way to win discrimination lawsuits.
Only disabled individuals have the right to sue their employers for disability discrimination. A spouse or other family member, even if harmed by an employer’s discrimination, can’t bring his or her own claim.
The key to a successful, challenge-proof reduction in force is using objective, measurable factors to determine who stays and who goes. That greatly reduces the likelihood that a former employee who loses his job to a RIF will win a discrimination case.

Q. As a small college, we employ quite a few adjunct in­structors, especially for night classes. They work on a term-to-term contract for specific courses. One instructor got a very poor review and we’d like to ease him out. He’s making noises about age discrimination. If we don’t renew his contract but instead use a younger, fresh-out-of-grad-school instructor, could he have a case?

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