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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Few workplaces are perfect, and it’s the rare supervisors who has never uttered an angry word. But some employees are too sensitive to criticism. While yelling and screaming may be uncomfortable, it usually doesn’t reach the level required for a court to conclude that it’s hostile.
Wayne Wright, a personal injury law firm in Houston, faces charges it fired an employee after she told them she was expecting a child.
The Austin Firefighters Association wants to be part of the city’s negotiation with the U.S. Department of Justice to settle long-smoldering claims that the city fire department’s hiring process discriminates against black and Hispanic applicants.
Employees typically have to file EEOC complaints within 300 days. Some attorneys think they can get around that rule by shopping around for other laws on which to base their lawsuits. Typically, they try to find a common-law tort to fit the situation, giving them much more time to sue. Now that avenue has been blocked.

If you haven’t already, warn everyone who serves on hiring committees or is otherwise involved in hiring-related decisions to keep their thoughts to themselves. For example, they should never discuss the inner workings of the ­hiring process with candidates.

A recent court case raises a growing issue: Just because a company has a building, do workers need to show up there to get their jobs done?
A Manhattan chef will see her largest payday ever after a state appellate court upheld a $1.6 million judgment against her former employer. Edward Globokar, owner of Tribecamex, will fork over the big bucks to his openly lesbian chef.
Beverly Hills-based Global Horizons, Inc., awaits a trial to determine damages that will go to Thai workers who toiled at Hawaiian plantations.
Here’s yet another reason to stop employees who sexually harass female co-workers, subordinates or customers: Men who work in that environment but refuse to join in can also sue for sexual harassment. It’s not just the harassed women who have claims.
The Goodhue County Board has dismissed sexual harassment complaints against three county employees, finding the charges unsubstantiated. A female employee of the county Veterans Services Office complained that her new boss created a “hostile work environment” for her and that county officials “retaliated” against her after she filed her complaint.
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