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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.

Never ignore an employee lawsuit, even if you think it is frivolous. In­­stead, prepare to defend yourself as soon as possible. That way, you can push for a quick dismissal if it’s clear the employee has no case.

No one likes being accused of a criminal offense if they are innocent. Be careful about making such accusations publicly—you could end up being sued for defamation or intentional infliction of emotional distress. But that doesn’t mean you can’t investigate apparently missing funds and similar, possibly criminal cases.

Before you ignore an employee who complains he has a hard time walking, consider the consequences of denying a reasonable accommodation. If a jury finds that the employee is disabled, you may be liable. Instead, explore the problem and make simple accommodations if at all possible.
A white man who was fired from his management position at a McKinney manufacturer is suing his former employer for reverse discrimination, claiming he was let go to clear the way for a black employee to take the job.
The EEOC has filed racial discrimination charges against Eden Prairie-based Alliant Techsystems after the aerospace company withdrew a black woman’s job offer and then gave the position to a white man.
Employers know to be wary of drug tests because they’re sometimes incorrect, falsely indicating that someone has been using illegal drugs. Now the Raleigh office of a national insurance giant has learned of another danger: Drug tests can trigger disability discrimination lawsuits.
Being a union-free workplace has many advantages, but there are also some built-in benefits to operating under a collective bargaining agreement. For one, such contracts typically require all rank-and-file employees to take their complaints to arbitration rather than filing a federal lawsuit.

Before you enter into official files your handwritten notes on conversations, recollections or thoughts about an HR decision, consider how your words might be interpreted. Best practice: Draft a memo that summarizes and fleshes out your notes—and that makes your ideas perfectly clear. Then toss out the original notes.

Even if a manager says or does something incredibly stupid, you have a chance to fix the situation and avoid losing a sexual harassment lawsuit. That’s true even under Cali­for­nia’s strict rules. Don’t wait to respond to a complaint. When you act, act decisively.
If yours is a religious organization, many employment discrimination laws may not apply to some employees who perform “ministerial” work.