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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Co-workers can and do get into arguments with other employees and may say things that are downright offensive. But courts expect employees to have relatively thick skins, at least when the perceived harassment is coming from co-workers and not a supervisor.
When an employee promises not to sue for age discrimination and accepts money in exchange for that promise, he can revoke that agreement unless it contains some very specific language. But the revocation can only apply to the age discrimination claims, not others. Those remain settled.
Employers are often reluctant to raise concerns over the impact of an employee’s religious practices. Those issues generally aren’t considered to be job-related, and the fear is that addressing them might cause a discrimination lawsuit.
Employers can’t control everything—including situations in which customers harass employees. As long as you take reasonable measures to prevent or stop blatant harassment, a single incident won’t mean you will be liable for customer harassment.

Supervisors and HR walk a legal tightrope when discussing retirement plans with aging workers. If it appears you’re pushing an employee out the door based on his age, you’ll be setting yourself up for an age discrimination lawsuit.

The U.S. workforce is in the midst of a sweeping demographic makeover, bringing new ethnic, national-origin and religious diversity—and new legal risks for employers.
Broad discretion about compensation at the bottom of the pay scale usually prevents employees from pursuing a class-action lawsuit similar to the one in the Supreme Court’s 2011 landmark Wal-Mart v. Dukes case. However, all bets are off if the issue is pay for higher-level employees.
Some employees can’t seem to get it together and do their jobs properly. While an underlying medical or psychological problem may be the cause, don’t assume that’s the case if the employee hasn’t asked for help or a reasonable accommodation.
Here’s a tip that can save you from needless litigation: Make sure supervisors don’t play favorites with some employees at the expense of others. You never know which employee will later claim she was excluded from the “inner circle” that got preferential treatment because of a protected characteristic.

HR Law 101: Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Courts are increasingly taking a dim view of employers that don't take decisive action to prevent sexual harassment ...

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