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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If you have a dress and grooming policy that sets out different rules for men and women, you aren’t necessarily setting yourself up for a sex discrimination lawsuit.

When an employee returns to work with restrictions after an illness, he or she may be disabled and entitled to reasonable ADA accommodations. Don’t make a mistake and skip the interactive accommodations process, even if you believe no accommodation is possible. You are still required to consider the possibility before taking action like terminating the employee.

Philadelphia scored a perfect 100 in the Human Rights Campaign’s annual rankings of American cities with local laws and policies that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination.
It’s never a good idea to talk about older workers as “dinosaurs” or wish for “new blood.” When a boss say things like that, and if the em­­ployee is demoted or fired shortly afterward, the statements can end up being used as direct evidence of age discrimination.
Sal’s Mexican Restaurant in Fresno, California has agreed to settle a sexual harassment complaint filed by a former hostess. According to the complaint, the hostess was a teenager when a male supervisor continually propositioned her for sexual favors, grabbed her and required her to give him hugs and back rubs as part of her duties.
Sometimes, a supervisor harbors prejudices that aren’t obvious. Always investigate before firing an employee who claims she’s in trouble because of her boss’s biases. If ­others agree there is a problem, you had better pay attention.
A former New York Police Depart­­ment officer of mixed-race ancestry is accusing the department of tolerating racial bias, alleging that co-workers on the NYPD’s elite scuba diving team harassed him.

There are some things that employers can’t control. One of those things is how employees act outside the workplace. Take, for example, this recent case in which a co-worker allegedly attacked another worker after work and off the premises.

Attorney General Eric Holder issued a Dec. 18 memo informing DOJ staff and U.S. Attorneys that the department will no longer assert that Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination based on sex excludes discrimination based on gender identity per se, including transgender discrimination. That reverses a previous Department of Justice position.
Employees who are not qualified for their jobs can’t claim ADA protection based on disability. And when a disabled employee has a position that’s covered by Depart­­ment of Transportation federal drug testing requirements and refuses a drug test, he’s automatically unqualified because DOT regulations require his sus­­pension.
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