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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Does your organization have a supervisor who frequently interviews and wants to hire younger applicants at the expense of older ones? That supervisor’s “dream team” may end up as Exhibit A in an age discrimination lawsuit.
Here’s a warning for federal government employers: Just about any internal complaint about agency wrongdoing may be protected activity under the Whistleblower Pro­­tec­­tion Act (WPA).
Warn supervisors to watch what they say. Making a statement that suggests the employee’s gender was in any way connected with workplace discipline is asking for a lawsuit.
For many years, employers felt safe denying accommodations for allegedly disabled employees when it was clear that their medical conditions were temporary and not permanent. That’s no longer the best approach.
Vallejo-based Pace Solano has settled charges it violated the ADA when it withdrew an employment offer after discovering the applicant’s disability. Pace Solano provides services for Solano County citizens with developmental disabilities.
Here’s a novel situation: What do you do if you learn that someone is undermining a manager or HR director’s efforts to stop sexual harassment by enforcing company rules? If you ignore the manager’s complaint, she may sue the company for allowing sexual harassment to flourish.
Q. One of our employees notified us that he cannot work on certain days of the week for religious reasons. Are we required to accommodate the employee’s request and work around his requested days off?
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), California’s civil rights agency, submits an annual report each calendar year to the governor and the state legislature. The latest report shows growing trends toward more filings related to disability, race and gender-based discrimination.
Don’t let your organization fall into the retaliation trap. Make sure all supervisors understand that nothing should change for an employee after he files a discrimination complaint without prior approval from HR. Then, act only if it’s clear the proposed action has nothing to do with the complaint.

Do you have a difficult employee you just know is going to sue you if you fire him? That’s no reason to treat him with kid gloves. Just make sure you have a rock-solid reason for the discharge. You may still be sued, but the case likely won’t go far.

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