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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No federal law protects gay employees—including transgender employees—from discrimination or harassment because of their sexual orientation. However, courts and the EEOC have begun applying Title VII of the Civil Rights Act to protect transgender rights.
The EEOC has filed a class-action suit on behalf of several men of various religions who have allegedly been forced to shave or cut their hair to obtain jobs at UPS.
A female airplane mechanic who alleged she was fired after she revealed her pregnancy to her employer will receive $60,000 in damages. Sierra Academy of Aeronautics, located near Merced, Ca., agreed to a seven-year consent decree, but admitted no liability.
Here’s a recent case that should make it clear to employers that it’s their responsibility to make sure employees aren’t sexually harassed. Simply put, you can’t tell someone going into an all-male environment that sexual harassment just happens and is the price for breaking down gender barriers.
Not every disability can be accommodated in a way that enables an employee to perform the essential functions of his job. Sometimes, the disability simply can’t be accommodated. When that’s the case, you may terminate the employee. If he sues, you must be ready to show what the job’s essential functions are and that it simply isn’t possible for the disabled employee, given his specific disabilities, to perform those functions.
Employers can be liable under the ADA if they “regard” someone as disabled—that is, assuming and acting as if the person has a disability. That’s true whether the worker is disabled or not. Telling an employee she should pick up medical forms to apply for disability benefits and sending her home until she does apply probably means the employer regarded the employee as disabled.
It’s hard to convince a judge or jury that the same person who hired someone knowing his protected status would later turn around and fire that employee because of that very protected status. That’s one reason you should keep careful track of which manager recommended hiring someone who is obviously a member of a protected class—such as an employee who is disabled because of a missing limb.
A jury in New York City has awarded a woman $18 million in her sexual harassment lawsuit against her former Wall Street boss.
Rest easy: You can talk about an employee’s pregnancy while also discussing discipline against her. As long as you make it clear that you are disciplining the employee because of issues that have nothing to do with her pending childbirth, mentioning pregnancy while discussing potential penalties won’t make you lose a discrimination suit.
The federal appeals court that covers Texas has come down on the side of an employer that fired a worker for insubordination for refusing to say a rosary. Reason: The employee never revealed that her religion prevented her from complying.