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.

Warn decision-makers who decide to act on their own, ignoring HR’s guidance: Juries can hold them personally liable for legal missteps—and make them pay punitive damages.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision earlier this year to uphold the “ministerial exception” that exempts religious institutions from having to comply with some employment laws has cleared the way for two lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

If one of your employees sues you and acts as his own attorney, treat the case just as seriously as you would any other lawsuit. Courts have to follow through with the legal process, including reviewing the employer’s evidence.

An appeals court has thrown cold water on two Pasco firefighters who won a $189,000 jury award. The appellate judge overturned a lower court’s decision in a discrimination lawsuit they filed against Pasco County and the firefighter’s union.

People who want a job must actually apply for it before they can allege they weren’t hired for discriminatory reasons. It’s easy to prove someone didn’t apply. Simply post job openings and retain all applications.

Miami’s Piloto Photo Center faces sexual harassment charges after female employees alleged the owner subjected them to graphic sexual comments and demeaning name-calling. Two former employees, including one manager, claim they were fired for opposing the harassment.
Some employees act as their own lawyers, something that can put employers at a disadvantage. That’s because courts bend over backward to make sure an unrepresented litigant gets his day in court.
The Affordable Care Act health care reform law requires employers to provide space for ­mothers to lactate. According to the latest available statistics, the DOL has cited a whopping 23 companies for failing to comply. What do the statistics mean? Either the lactation mandate is not yet widely known, but complaints (and citations) will rise as public knowledge catches up with the law’s requirements; or the lack of lactation space in American workplaces is a myth that never needed a legislative solution.

It’s not enough to have an anti-harassment and discrimination policy in your manual. It’s not even enough to train everyone regularly on what the policy requires. What really counts is enforcing the policy when complaints come in. If you don’t, the penalty may be punitive damages.

Employees who experience retaliation for complaining about discrimination don’t have to prove bias to win a retaliation lawsuit. But that doesn’t mean that a mere suspicion or hunch that an employer is discriminating is enough.