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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In April 2012, the EEOC issued comprehensive guidance addressing the use of an applicants’ criminal history in hiring, which it further clarified in March 2014. The guidance offers details and hypotheticals regarding situations when excluding an applicant based on his or her arrest or conviction record could constitute discrimination based on race or national origin in violation of Title VII.

The only appropriate response to a claim of nooses in the workplace is an immediate investigation. That may require involving the police. Show you take the incident seriously even if the source may be a customer or a contractor. It’s the right approach and the one most likely to cut any potential liability after the fact.

Abercrombie & Fitch had a bad day in court Feb. 25 when its lawyer squared off against skeptical Supreme Court Justices hearing oral arguments in a case involving a teenager who says the Muslim headscarf she wore to an interview cost her a job at the preppy retail chain.
If a technology problem interferes with a disabled employee’s attempt to use medical leave, fix the problem fast. Otherwise, you may be liable for claims that you violated the ADA’s disability accommodations ­requirements.
Generally, all claims arising out of the same set of facts must be brought in one lawsuit. However, in limited circumstances, it’s possible for an employee to file separate lawsuits against her employer—and her supervisor!
A former employee at the Twin Cities Norwegian consulate is asking the country to pay her legal fees after she won a $270,000 equal pay judgment. A federal judge ruled that the woman was paid $30,000 less than a male employee performing comparable work.
Employees filed 8,826 charges of racial harassment with the EEOC in fiscal year 2014, the most ever. In 10 years, racial harassment charges have increased by 58%.
Not every complaint amounts to “protected activity” that shields an employee from retaliation.
The EEOC and the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division have signed a new memorandum of understanding firming up the agencies’ enforcement cooperation on discrimination, harassment and retaliation complaints involving local, state and federal government employees.
Back in 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that an employee who was fired after his fiancé—who worked for the same employer—filed an internal discrimination complaint could sue on his own accord alleging retaliation. The fiancé, the court concluded, was within the “zone of interest” meant to be protected from retaliation under Title VII. The Court held that by firing someone’s significant other, the employer in effect would indirectly punish the complainer. Until now, exactly who would be included in the “zone of interest” was in question.
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