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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Panchero’s Mexican Grill in Bloom­­ing­­ton faces charges it fired white workers who worked as line cooks because of their race. The fired workers claim managers openly stated they preferred white workers for management jobs, but wanted only Mexi­­cans for line positions.
A former New York City Department of Parks & Recreation employee has filed a discrimination and retaliation suit against the city after she was fired after complaining about pervasive sexual harassment. Although city investigators largely corroborated her complaints against two supervisors, the woman lost her job.
Courts expect em­­ploy­­ees to have relatively thick skins. Behavior that is crude or obnoxious isn’t usually grounds for a harassment lawsuit unless it targets people based on a protected characteristic (sex, age, race, disability, etc.).Still, the “equal opportunity harasser” argument is a pretty flimsy nail to hang your defense on.
Public employees have some workplace protections based on constitutional rights to free speech and association. But those rights don’t extend to the right to be part of a co-worker clique.
Michael, a practicing Rastafarian, wears a cap to prevent his “spiritual energy from escaping into the atmosphere.” He was fired from his delivery driver job at a North Carolina catering company after refusing to remove it.

Although most employers have policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment based on an em­­ployee’s sex, race and religion, many have not yet added gender identity to the list of protected categories. The lack of protection has real consequences for transgender individuals.

While employees filed fewer charges of job discrimination in 2014 than the year before, one new statistic from the EEOC should make HR and employers stand up and take notice: More than 2 in 5 charges last year allege some form of retaliation against the employee for pursuing the discrimination claim.
Walmart could soon face an EEOC lawsuit alleging the retail giant engaged in sex discrimination when it denied health insurance benefits to the same-sex spouse of an employee in Massachusetts.
The producers of “The Price is Right,” TV’s longest-running game show, have learned that negative comments about pregnancies can result in jackpots for employees, to the tune of more than $8 million.
The U.S. Equal Employment Oppor­­tunity Commission filed a lawsuit against Ruby Tues­­day, accusing the restaurant chain of discriminating against male em­­ployees who applied for temporary assign­­ments to a busy Utah resort.
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