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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By now, most employers are familiar with the list of categories protected from employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: race, color, religion, national origin and sex. Other federal anti-discrimination laws add additional protected categories to the list: disability (ADA), age (Age Discrimination in Employment Act), pregnancy (Pregnancy Dis­­crimi­­nation Act) and genetic information (Genetic Information Non­­dis­­crimi­­na­­tion Act). Absent is any mention of sexual orientation or gender identity.

While there is growing acceptance of same-sex marriage and homosexuality in the United States, being transgender is still not a protected status under federal law. That may be changing in the coming years, but there is as yet nothing preventing a Texas employer from discriminating against a transgender applicant or employee, as the following case shows.

As long as you consider all candidates on their individual merits and not solely because of what sex, age, race or ethnicity they belong to, your efforts at diversity won’t get you in trouble.
Austin 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.
A state appeals court has just reversed part of a jury award based on a new California Supreme Court requirement that employees prove that discrimination was “a substantial motivating factor” for the firing rather than merely a motivating factor. However, no such rule applies to har­­ass­­ment claims.
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.

HR Law 101: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against workers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. An array of federal and state laws further refine the definition of discrimination ...

HR Law 101: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 bars discrimination based on race, national origin and religion. The law applies to all employers that have at least 15 full- or part-time workers and includes U.S. companies that employ Americans abroad ...

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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