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.
Supervisors should avoid any age-related references, but don’t despair if you learn someone made such a comment—as long as nothing else points to age discrimination. Simply warn the boss to watch what he or she says in the future.
Before outsourcing, carefully lay the groundwork. Document the underlying financial and practical reasons, especially if the department is troubled and some employees have filed discrimination or harassment complaints.
A former sales clerk at Manhattan’s Alexander McQueen boutique claims she was subjected to numerous slurs concerning her heritage while working at the upscale store.
Job-seekers who know how to apply for open positions can’t claim discrimination unless they can also show they followed the process. At the same time, a standard process lets employers track applications and easily show a judge why someone didn’t get the job she sought.
Don’t let cost-cutting measures derail ADA reasonable accommodations requests. Offering an accommodation may be far cheaper than losing a failure-to-accommodate lawsuit.
A former employee at Lanxess Corp. has sued her former employer, claiming the company discriminated against her because of her gender. She recounts male employees telling her “women aren’t supposed to be back here” and that it was “not a woman’s job.”
Q. One of our employees was recently accused of sending sexually harassing texts to another employee. The complaining employee said she was so upset by the texts she deleted them; the accused employee adamantly denies sending the texts. Can we search the accused employee’s cellphone or is there a way to retrieve the messages from the complaining employee’s phone?
It’s the employer that gets to choose a reasonable accommodation for a disabled worker, not the employee. While a disabled worker may prefer one solution over another, that’s not relevant.
The ADA says you must reasonably accommodate disabled employees. That requires substantial discussion with the employee to understand her condition and formulate a solution.
Q. We let a female cashier at our restaurant wear a religious head covering, despite our policy against hats. Now, a male employee has started wearing a camouflage cap, claiming his religious idol is Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty.” He says his “religion” is sincere. Can we tell him to remove the cap?