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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Here’s a cautionary tale about changing a new employee’s job duties soon after hire. He or she may claim the real reason is discrimination if the change happened soon after a new boss discovered the employee belonged to a protected class.
Pittsburgh-based Maxim Healthcare faces a suit from the EEOC after it refused to place an HIV-positive health­­­­care worker at a Veterans Admin­­is­­­­tra­­tion hospital.
Here’s another reason to guard against retaliation following a sexual harassment complaint: You could be slapped with an unfair labor practices charge for actions that occur after an employee asks co-workers to help gather evidence of harassment.
San Jose-based Riviera Consulting will pay $100,000 to a former employee after the firm terminated him because of his poor eyesight.
Here’s a case that shows how important it is to keep good records of the interview and hiring process. When a rejected applicant sued, an employer ended up having to call in former applicants to whom it had offered jobs but who had turned down the offers. The employer won the case on the strength of those other candidates’ testimony.
Some employees may be embarrassed when they experience sex­­ual harassment. They may feel too uncomfortable to come right out and repeat offensive comments they heard. What should HR do?

You may think you have a great training program that helps good employees acquire new skills and then promotes the best ones. But it takes just one rogue super­visor to sink the best training if you don’t have checks and balances to make sure it is being used appropriately.

As the workforce becomes more diverse, religious accommodation requests are becoming more common. In addressing such requests, employers should be mindful of the new in­­for­­mal guidance recently issued by the EEOC regarding religious accommodations involving dress or grooming.
You may have read that stray comments aren’t enough to create liability. That’s true. However, when those comments are “pervasive and regular,” it’s another matter. And the line between stray and regular is anything but clear.
In a long-anticipated move, President Obama on July 21 amended Executive Order 11246 to prohibit discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The DOL has until late October to develop regulations implementing the order.
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