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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The jubilation was short-lived after an employer won what would have been a significant victory that might have reduced the number of cases the EEOC litigates. Alas, an appeals court quickly turned the tables.
For some supervisors, being a good boss is literally a hands-on job. They’re constantly patting workers on the back or wrapping them up in an innocent hug. But watch out if they’re “touchier” with female subordinates.

HR professionals can’t be everywhere at once, making sure no boss ever harasses a subordinate. It will happen, even in the best, most progressive organizations. Protect against such nonsense with a robust anti-harassment policy ...

A federal trial court hearing a discrimination case has refused to accept a new and rather bizarre legal theory. The plaintiff alleged that a principle called “psychological projection” can prove that someone is a racist because he falsely alleges that someone else is racist.
Failing to offer some employees the opportunity to participate in training can mean a possible lawsuit. But that’s only true if the employee who missed out on the training opportunity let it be known that he was interested.
The EEOC has issued a new regulation addressing the “reasonable factors other than age” (RFOA) defense to disparate impact claims under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Understanding the new regulation can help you comply with the law and prevail in court if you are sued.
Q. We have an employee who claims to be a witch. She contends that witchcraft is her religion and has asked for certain holidays off. Are we required to accommodate this employee’s request?

Most HR professionals assume that a warning letter isn’t an adverse employment action and there­­fore can’t be the basis for a lawsuit. And that’s largely true. But if the warning letter also mentions restrictions on how well the employee will be rated at evaluation time, there may be trouble.

When the EEOC wants to take a dis­crimination case to court, it is required to try to settle the case first. That conciliation process is a two-way street. Employers can’t walk away from the process, expecting a court to dismiss a subsequent lawsuit because the agency didn’t try hard enough.
Do you have employees who were born and raised in other countries and who therefore speak English with heavy, foreign-sounding accents? If so, be careful how you approach any discussion about their speech. If supervisors or managers criticize workers’ accents, a national-origin discrimination lawsuit may be in your company’s future.
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