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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Courts considering pay discrimination claims want to believe that employers don’t purposely adopt policies that pay men more than women for the same work. But employers won’t win many lawsuits if they can’t explain exactly how pay differences came about. Simply put, if you have a complicated process for determining compensation, be ready to share it with the court.

Does the Pregnancy Discrimination Act require employers to accommodate expectant mothers in the same way they must accommodate disabled workers? That was the question before the U.S. Supreme Court when it heard oral arguments Dec. 3 in Young v. UPS, a closely watched case that could affect workplaces nationwide.
Don’t think that by ignoring obvious harassment, it will go away. More likely, the offensive be­­havior will escalate—and may even turn into a brawl or worse.
Pittsburgh security firm Capital Asset Protection can look forward to an age discrimination from a 70-year-old former security guard who was hailed as a hero for helping to end a violent rampage at a high school—and then lost his job.

There’s flirting and then there’s sexual harassment. If the flirter is a supervisor, it’s probably sexual harassment whether or not there was any physical contact. Set a strict no-fraternization rule for supervisors and subordinates.

Costco is facing an EEOC lawsuit for allegedly failing to take steps to protect one of its female employees from the unwelcome advances of one of its customers.
A Manhattan firm called Strategic Legal Solutions didn’t do itself any favors when it withdrew an employment offer once it learned the applicant’s age.

Because it costs more to provide health insurance for older workers, some employers may be tempted to trim their workforce of older workers during reductions in force. Or they may think twice before considering hiring an older applicant. Such actions carry considerable risk that the employee or applicant will sue for age discrimination.

The number of EEOC charges fell slightly in fiscal year 2014, but employers wound up paying dramatically less for workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation than they did in 2013.

Employees who claim that the stress of working for a particular supervisor exacerbates or even creates a disability sometimes think they can request a new boss as a reasonable accommodation. After all, if one supervisor “caused” the disability, then having a different one might “cure” it, allowing the employee to successfully perform her job again. But courts don’t see it that way.

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