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.
In Litton v. Talawanda School District, a demoted and transferred custodian sued his employer for age and race discrimination. In Litton, did the 6th Circuit unwittingly create a cause of action for benign discrimination? Or, is this case an aberration that future courts will distinguish and disregard?
The 7th Circuit recently considered for the first time whether an employee can be individually liable under a “cat’s paw” theory of retaliation under Section 1981. In Smith v. Bray the court held that an employee could sue an HR manager individually for retaliating against him by influencing the decision to fire him.
Simply comparing the average age of workers before and after a RIF can make it look like age bias played a part in deciding who kept or lost their jobs. Laid-off employees’ attorneys routinely do that math. But employers can beat such statistical arguments by showing that their decision-making processes weren’t based on age, but on other legitimate business reasons.
When an employee tells her supervisor she has a disability that makes it hard for her to get to work on time, it’s critical to factor that into any decision to apply a no-fault tardiness policy. Refusing to do so may be disability discrimination.
The EEOC is investigating the Marylou’s Coffee chain, looking into its apparent practice of hiring attractive young women. According to the Fisher Phillips law firm, “the EEOC’s big adventure raises a troubling question: Is the EEOC trying to establish that it’s illegal for an employer to prefer attractive employees over unattractive ones?”
It’s always smarter—and less expensive—to learn about employment law from others’ mistakes, rather than your own. Here are three new court decisions that serve up great lessons for any manager:
Employers must create and enforce sexual harassment policies and conduct sexual harassment training so that supervisors can recognize what is and what isn't considered to be sexual harassment. Supervisors are responsible for eliminating behavior that can lead to claims of a hostile environment in their departments.
Generally, pregnancy isn’t a disability under the ADA, nor are pregnancy-related complications. But under some limited circumstances—when pregnancy complications cause separate medical conditions that persist after birth—the employee may qualify as disabled under the ADA.
One of the only legally secure ways to protect your company from hostile work environment lawsuits is to provide clear steps for employees to complain. Then investigate the allegations. Make sure employees know how to raise concerns and whom to talk to.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from using an individual's race, color, national origin, religion, or sex as a basis for decisions on hiring, discharging, compensation, benefits, classification, and all other terms and conditions of employment. It also forbids retaliation against employees or applicants who lodge complaints against unlawful employer acts covered by Title VII.