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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Q. One of our employees recently shouted at his supervisor, and in doing so violated a work rule. In the course of counseling and disciplining—but not discharging—this employee stated for the first time that he has a disorder which might have caused his conduct. May we still discipline this employee?
Certainly, train your managers that they cannot use common racist phrases and names. But go beyond the obvious and provide examples of other terms and behaviors that may not seem obvious. The following case provides an example.
If you find out that a supervisor may have treated a disabled worker poorly, fix the problem promptly.
Here’s a reminder that even doing the right thing can mean a lawsuit.
Some employees will never be satisfied with their employer’s solution to perceived harassment. But if you have fixed the problem, it’s perfectly fine to tell the employee he needs to move on and forget about the past.
Your supervisors probably know it’s illegal to discriminate against someone because of his or her disability. But do they also know about a less-obvious part of the ADA that makes it illegal to discriminate against employees or applications because those people have an association with someone who has a disability?

Generally, employees don’t have long to get the litigation ball rolling if they want to complain about discrimination. In most cases, they must file a complaint with the EEOC or a state agency within 300 days of an alleged discriminatory act. However, employees often have lots more leeway if they are claiming they had to work in a hostile environment characterized by repeated slurs or other harassing behavior.

Here’s a rather novel question being answered for the first time in the 5th Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Texas employers. Can the refusal to accept a request to rescind a resignation ever be an adverse em­­ployment action and retaliation for engaging in protected activity?
The EEOC has filed suit against staffing company Labor Ready Mid-Atlantic for actions occurring at its office in Washington, Pa.
Employees who get promotions generally don’t sue their employers, but an administrative specialist for the city of Austin, Texas, has done just that.
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