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.
It’s no secret: International news often upsets Americans, especially since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But frustration about terrorism and other threats shouldn’t be allowed to spill over in the workplace, especially if another staff member is unfairly singled out for abuse based on nothing more than his national origin or religion.
By definition, sexual harassment investigations require a strict level of professionalism that may be at odds with the modern blue jean-clad, open floor plan office. Employees may be reluctant to rat out a co-worker, even if he is a harasser.
A single racially charged comment from someone who didn’t have any say in a subsequent discharge decision won’t support a reverse discrimination claim.
An Asian restaurant in Bartlett, Tenn., is facing a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit after it fired two employees it believed were too big (due to their pregnancies) to wait tables.
Job interviews present a minefield of legal problems. One wrong question could spark a discrimination lawsuit. That's why you should never "wing it" during interviews. Instead, create a list of interview questions and make sure every question asks for job-related information that will help in the selection process. To avoid the appearance of discrimination during interviews, do not ask the following 25 questions:
Employees who are forced to work under conditions that leave them little choice but to quit can still sue, alleging they were constructively discharged. You can prevent those suits by transferring the employee who says he is being harassed to another equivalent job.
There is only one boss. The customer. But what if the customer or another outsider is harassing one of your employees? Can your organization be held liable?
A recent case shows that the broader your anti-harassment policy, the more protection you gain. Tell employees to report all harassment, not just the sexual kind. Include harassment based on religion, disability, national origin and so on.
An employee terminated from the Fox TV affiliate in Texas drove to New York City in January and shot himself outside News Corporation’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters.
Remind supervisors that when it comes to age discrimination, what they say matters. They should never comment directly on age, and should avoid references to “generational differences” or anything else that might be construed as code for age discrimination.