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.
Q. One of our employees requested that we accommodate his health condition by allowing him to occasionally work from home. We are concerned that this arrangement will cause his colleagues to become disgruntled. May we deny the request for this reason? If not, what information may we share with the employee’s colleagues so that they are more understanding of the situation?
You know the mantra: To win lawsuits, you must document, document, document! When it comes to employees who sue you for discrimination after they have been disciplined, documentation means making careful, contemporaneous notes about alleged rule-breaking or other wrongdoing. It means and saving records for every disciplinary action. You can’t just zealously document misdeeds by the employee you think will sue. You have to do it for everyone.
A former supervisor at Al-Jazeera America is suing the cable news network—owned by the government of Qatar—claiming he was fired for raising concerns about a senior vice president’s “overt misogynistic behavior.”
A federal court considering a claim that the Minnesota Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in hiring against those “associated” with a disabled Minnesotan has hinted that, in the right circumstances, it would entertain such a lawsuit.
When an employer provides a way for employees to complain about poor treatment based on harassment, it will only be liable if it knew about the offensive behavior and failed to address it. That’s why you should be prepared to document all complaints.
A Texas company has agreed to settle a disability bias suit filed by a former employee after the EEOC accused its HR department of playing doctor in violation of the ADA.
If you have employees like that, carefully document the behavior. Then apply appropriate discipline, especially if the employee is insubordinate. Just make sure that everyone else with a similar work record is also punished the same way.
What should you do if you receive reports that a manager has uttered offensive slurs?
Need another reason to prevent discrimination and harassment? You could wind up paying for infractions for a very long time to come.
What should you do when a male employee claims his co-workers are sexually harassing him? You can’t just ignore the complaint simply because it came from a man. But should you discuss the complaint with the co-workers and ask them to stop if they are engaging in harassment? Wouldn’t that make matters worse?