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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Employers can require employees to speak English at work, as long as they enforce the rule across the board. What they can’t do: Allow some employees to use one foreign language but punish others for using a third language.

When a company reorganizes and consolidates several positions into one, the resulting reduction in force (RIF) may affect an older employee. The employee who loses a job may feel the real reason is age and that the employer took advantage of a RIF to eliminate older workers. You can structure your RIFs to avoid losing an age discrimination claim.
The passion with which some individuals hold their religious beliefs can lead to more than just a highly charged political debate; it could lead to religious discrimination and harassment. Prevent that from happening by routinely reviewing the rules of the religious discrimination road with your managers and supervisors.

When the EEOC declared it was starting an enforcement effort aimed at protecting Hispanic ­workers from harassment and discrimination, smart employers promptly looked at their organizations and corrected any problems. Those that didn’t are now paying the price.

Each year, new employment laws go on the books and courts write thousands upon thousands of decisions interpreting old laws. Yet, year after year, many HR professionals reach up onto a dusty shelf to hand new employees the same old employee handbook someone wrote years ago—too often without a second of consideration whether the contents still pass legal muster.

When an employee converted to the Sikh religion, managers at the AutoZone began asking him if he had joined Al-Qaeda and whether he was a terrorist, according to an EEOC lawsuit.

Do you ask applicants when they graduated from high school or college or otherwise finished their education? That seemingly innocuous question could trigger an age discrimination lawsuit if an applicant’s graduation year makes it clear he’s 40 or older and you wound up hiring someone younger.

The EEOC's new ADEA regulations lay out several considerations to guide courts and em­­ployers and employees in determining whether factors used in deciding on a particular employment practice pass the “reasonable factors other than age” (RFOA) test.

Q. How is it possible to get out of an EEOC discrimination complaint if the employee has tape recordings to prove the claim? Can we prolong the process so the time can run out or is there no time limit in how long the EEOC waits for a position statement from us?

While the DOL cleared an executive order that would have made it illegal for federal contractors to discriminate against employees (or applicants) based on their sexual orientation, President Obama is not expected to sign the order, although he favors the idea.
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