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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We’ve said it before: Document every disciplinary action and be specific. The employer in this case won because it had excellent contemporaneous records to explain its disciplinary action.

Treating an applicant rudely or making snap judgments can mean ending up in court, trying to defend against charges of race or other perceived discrimination. Here’s a case you can use as an example of how not to greet an applicant even if you are sure he won’t be hired.

Just because religion was mentioned at work doesn’t mean you will lose a religious harassment lawsuit.
A federal jury has returned a unanimous verdict awarding a total of $17,425,000 to five former female employees of Moreno Farms, a Florida produce packing operation, who the EEOC claimed endured regular harassment and eventual rape at the hands of two supervisors.
Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, heart disease is a disability. The employee doesn’t have to prove that in his particular case, the condition limits a major life activity.
Retaliation can be anything that would dissuade a reasonable employee from reporting alleged wrongdoing—such as harassment or discrimination—in the first place. And it doesn’t just apply to direct punishment against an employee. It can even be an employer’s action that targets an employee’s co-workers or associates.
Do you sometimes offer new employees different salaries for the same positions? If so, be sure you document why one applicant is worth more than another.

In many workplaces, promotions partly depend on completing training sessions or otherwise showing efforts to improve and grow. But some employees won’t make the effort. Of course, that doesn’t mean they won’t sue over missed promotions. That’s why you should be prepared to show which employees took advantage of training opportunities and which employees didn’t.

Let’s say a top employee refuses to work a company’s new mandated Saturday shift. His religion won’t allow it, he says, and he wants an accommodation. How you listen and react when first approached about a religious accommodation sets the tone for a quick resolution.

The EEOC handled 6,862 charges of sexual harassment in fiscal year 2014, collecting $35 million on behalf of victims. Almost all those cases could have been prevented—here's how.

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