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.
Smart HR pros make it a point to check back regularly with employees who complain about alleged discrimination. They document those conversations and address any problems the employee reports, such as claims supervisors are blocking promotions or other opportunities.
Marshall-based frozen food giant Schwan’s attempt to quash an EEOC subpoena was stopped cold when the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the company must hand over a list of 600 Schwan’s general managers, their genders and dates of hire. The EEOC demanded the documents in connection with a sex discrimination case filed by a former employee.
You can take steps to ensure that most employee lawsuits will fail, especially when it comes to discipline. The key is to make sure similar misconduct yields similar punishment, regardless of the employee’s race, sex, age or other protected characteristic. It’s also critical for HR to track discipline carefully.
A former Capitol Hill staffer is suing U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee for disability discrimination, alleging that the congresswoman from Houston ridiculed her poor vision and reading disabilities and failed to accommodate her.
A woman who claims the Wood County Sheriff’s Office rescinded a job offer is suing the county, alleging it discriminated against her because of her age and disability.
Fortunately for employers, courts measure a hostile work environment against the “reasonable employee” standard. If a reasonable employee would not find the conduct hostile, then it doesn’t matter how intensely a particular employee reacts to allegedly hostile acts. The idea behind the standard is to protect employers from exaggerated claims, especially when it is clear the employer took the allegations seriously and moved to prevent further problems.
A man who applied for work at the Denton State School is suing the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, claiming gender bias. His claim: The school just won’t hire men for some positions.
Here’s a scary hypothetical: A female exempt employee comes into HR to complain about sex discrimination and pay bias. She tells you she works for a male supervisor; two men hold the same position she does. Her hourly rate based on a 40-hour workweek is higher than either of the men’s. But she argues that her supervisor makes her work longer hours. She says that’s pay discrimination. What do you tell her?
Watch out if a supervisor starts keeping extra-close tabs on an employee’s work in the wake of declining productivity or a poor review. You must make sure all employees in a similar situation get the same close attention.
A former manager at Capital Title of Texas has filed suit in federal court in Houston, claiming the company fired her for refusing to color her gray hair. She claims her boss told her to dye her hair because the office was moving from Katy to the Galleria area.