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.
If you have a strict rule in place that calls for discharge for a specific offense, be careful before you make an exception for one employee. If you do, another who doesn’t’ get a second chance may believe the real reason is some form of discrimination and point to the other employee’s race, ethnicity, sex or other characteristic different from his as proof.
One of the worst things a supervisor can do is to tell an employee being discharged for poor attendance that the reason she’s unreliable is because she has children. At best, such a comment may trigger a claim of caretaker discrimination. At worst—especially if absences are to care for a disabled child—the comments can mean an ADA lawsuit based on association discrimination.
Since the EEOC declared that “the ability to interact with others” is an essential life function, some employees and their attorneys have argued that a long list of psychiatric and psychological disorders are covered ADA disabilities. If the diagnostic criteria for a condition includes difficulty getting along with others, then being diagnosed with the condition is proof enough of disability, goes the argument. Now a federal appeals court has essentially agreed with that position, at least when it comes to one diagnosis.