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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.

Employees who lose their jobs these days often have a tough time finding new positions. That’s leading to more discharge lawsuits, simply be­­cause former employees have so few options. Many of those lawsuits are filed pro se. No matter how flimsy such a case seems, never ignore it.
A Chicago ambulance service has decided to settle a lawsuit after a federal judge nixed the novel argument that some other company must have been responsible for alleged sexual harassment of its employees.
Here’s another reason to have privacy and confidentiality rules: Em­­ployees who violate those rules in order to gather evidence for a lawsuit they have filed can be disciplined.

Q. Our company is considering anti-harassment training for all employees. Some managers and executive are concerned that this will stir up lawsuits. Do you recommend such training?

Is your workforce unionized? Then expect union reps to push grievances aggressively, especially if they involve possible racial issues. That’s because more employees are suing unions over timid representation.
A federal judge has ruled that an em­­ployee who lost one ADA discrimination case because the court found she wasn’t disabled can’t sue again, claiming that she is disabled.
Be careful before revoking a job offer based on a physical exam. Consider reasonable accommodations instead.
Sometimes an employee who complains that his supervisor is biased is absolutely right. If it turns out that a worker’s accusation of discrimination is true, don’t hesitate to fire the supervisor and move on.
Dauphin County’s Susquehanna Town­­ship is considering an ordinance barring employment and housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. If enacted, the suburban Harrisburg township would form a volunteer board to investigate any claims that arise.
Think twice before firing a good employee who has complained. If she can prove she earned excellent reviews and had good attendance, she may win a jury trial based on timing alone.