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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A White House executive order that went into effect April 8 prohibits federal contractors and subcontractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The EEOC is extraordinarily patient, and employers aren’t its only target.

If you have a strict rule in place that calls for discharge for a specific offense, be careful before you make an exception for one employee. If you do, another who doesn’t’ get a second chance may believe the real reason is some form of discrimination and point to the other employee’s race, ethnicity, sex or other characteristic different from his as proof.

Assume that a lingering friendship can affect the supervisor/subordinate relationship. At least for a trial period, carefully review all discipline that the new boss wants to impose.
Sometimes, an employee may feel as if she has no viable option except to fight back against a bully or harasser. That puts you, as the employer, in a difficult spot. Do you launch a full-scale investigation, try to sort out which employee is telling the truth and then fire the one you believe most culpable? If that’s the employee who physically struck the other, you may be making the wrong choice.
New Castle-based pipe fitting manufacturer EZEFLOW USA has agreed to pay $65,000 to settle a disability discrimination suit filed by a former marine who had requested six weeks of unpaid leave to treat seizures resulting from his service in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Federal government employees who want to bring discrimination and harassment charges must complain to their agency’s equal employment opportunity officer within 45 days of the alleged event. However, when it comes to so-called continual violations, even one incident occurring within that 45-day period will bring earlier incidents into play.

One of the worst things a supervisor can do is to tell an employee being discharged for poor attendance that the reason she’s unreliable is because she has children. At best, such a comment may trigger a claim of caretaker discrimination. At worst—especially if absences are to care for a disabled child—the comments can mean an ADA lawsuit based on association discrimination.

Gov. Tom Wolf has asked the legislature to send him a bill providing protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Since the EEOC declared that “the ability to interact with others” is an essential life function, some employees and their attorneys have argued that a long list of psychiatric and psychological disorders are covered ADA disabilities. If the diagnostic criteria for a condition includes difficulty getting along with others, then being diagnosed with the condition is proof enough of disability, goes the argument. Now a federal appeals court has essentially agreed with that position, at least when it comes to one diagnosis.

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