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.

Courts don’t want to second-guess every employment decision. They leave it up to employers to determine, for example, whether one rule violation is more serious than another. As the following case shows, employers are free to terminate employees who won’t listen.
Employers that compile promotion lists based on test results should tell employees that the lists will be updated periodically.
If your sexual harassment policy is comprehensive, any complaint may trigger an investigation that uncovers many violations—perhaps even by the complaining employee. When that happens, the best policy is to let the investigation take its course and document everything. Then discipline everyone who violated the policy.
A Kentucky Fried Chicken franchisee will pay $277,000 to resolve sexual harassment complaints from a group of women who worked at a store in Raleigh.

Tempted to ask applicants about their past medical history, disabilities or other private information related to potential disabilities? Don’t do so before you make a job offer.

If an employee isn’t working as hard as you expect, reducing his pay might conceivably provide enough of a kick in the pants that he’ll pick up the pace. As long as you carefully document why you are making the pay cut, he won’t win a discrimination case even if his pay puts him at a lower level than others outside his protected class who perform the same job.
A company that operates Panera Bread stores in Florida faces an additional lawsuit charging racial discrimination in the wake of a manager’s suit that claims he was fired for refusing to follow a racist directive from the store’s owner.
The manager of a Winston-Salem Dairy Queen restaurant thought he was getting rid of a problem employee when he fired Chastity Hill-Cox. His problems were only beginning. The EEOC and Hill-Cox are suing Dairy Queen for sexual harassment ...
Employers that punish some em­­ployees more leniently than others for breaking the same rule are asking for trouble. That’s especially true when a lesser offense seems to have warranted especially harsh punishment.
Q. One of our employees has just filed an internal complaint claiming that she has been sexually harassed. We are concerned that if we discipline the alleged harasser based on our findings and note this incident in his personnel file, he may demand to inspect our investigation records. May we avoid this by maintaining a separate investigation file?