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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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Before you jump for joy when an employee acts as her own lawyer in a federal lawsuit, consider this: Courts give pro se litigants lots of leeway, as this case shows.

Being a boss is hard enough, but it’s especially difficult when un­­expected absences disrupt production schedules. Unfortunately, it’s a fact of managerial life. That’s why you should remind supervisors that they must not take out their frustrations by retaliating against employees who miss work for legitimate reasons—such as having to care for a sick child.

Here’s some good news for em­ployers that promote an employee into a supervisory position not knowing she may have made racist comments in the past. As long as the new supervisor follows company disciplinary rules and HR carefully documents any performance and disciplinary problems, chances are the old comments won’t sink the em­­­ploy­­er’s defense of a discrimination claim.
We all use psychological lingo to describe behavior we find annoying or disturbing. But when such terms are used in the workplace, that armchair analysis can create needless legal headaches.

When an employee either complains internally about discrimination or goes to an outside agency like the EEOC to lodge a complaint, she has engaged in what’s called “protected activity.” She may not be right about the discrimination, but if her employer retaliated against her for complaining in the first place, she could win a large jury award anyway. You’ll want to avoid at all costs having to admit to any of these 10 things if you’re embroiled in a retaliation case.

The nation’s largest producer of fresh eggs is being sued after it fired a black employee who had complained about racial and sexual harassment at the company’s farm in Waelder.
The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) has settled a long-standing gender discrimination case with five women who work as emergency medical technicians. They’ll split $1.3 million under the terms of the settlement.
Do you have a comprehensive civility code? If not, consider adding one. A work environment contaminated by yelling, cursing and other uncivil behavior could lead to discrimination and retaliation lawsuits.
Q. Several employees have requested that we talk to another employee who, frankly, smells bad. I know she has medical problems. Can we ask her to do something about the odor or would that be discrimination based on disability?
A black game warden-in-training—one of only two black cadets in her class—has filed an EEOC discrimination complaint against the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. At the same time, the EEOC also granted a white game warden permission to file a federal lawsuit alleging that supervisors instructed him to “distance himself” from black colleagues.
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