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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The New York Mets and its owner, Jeff Wilpon, face charges the baseball team fired its head of ticket sales and marketing because she chose to have a child out of wedlock.
San Antonio-based Taprite Fassco Manufacturing, a company that supplies CO2 regulators to the beer and soda industries, may get a bit of indigestion courtesy of the EEOC. The commission is suing the company, alleging that it demoted a female employee who raised concerns that men were paid more than women in comparable positions.

Clever lawyers are always looking for ways to reach deeper into employer pockets. One tactic has been to add state negligence claims to run-of-the-mill discrimination cases. That won’t work anymore, at least as far as negligent hiring, supervision and retention claims are concerned.

Employers must reasonably accommodate employees’ religious beliefs unless doing so would cause undue hardship. Some employers take this to mean they get to decide what constitutes a genuine religious belief—and nix requests for time off for religious observances that don’t fit their defi­nition. That’s legal blasphemy!

Rudeness is likely to sneak into the workplace no matter how many civility rules you post. Unless the behavior is clearly abusive or obviously offensive to a protected class, don’t lose too much sleep over a potential lawsuit.

On Oct. 6, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review all seven same-sex marriage cases pending before it. The Court’s refusal to hear the appeals meant that the lower court decisions striking down same-sex marriage bans in Indiana,  Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin took effect right away. The immediate effects are twofold.

Before disciplining an employee who says she did what she did because her supervisor told her it was OK, make sure others following the same informal rule were treated the same. If you fire or demote one, you must fire or demote the other.
Some litigants don’t want to listen to their attorneys when it comes to case management. That can make it difficult to settle a case or even cooperate with the other side. And things can get worse if the employee fires counsel and wants the equivalent of a do-over. Fortunately, most judges won’t let that happen.
Texas public employees are protected from retaliation for reporting wrongdoing to an appropriate law enforcement agency. But except in very rare cases, it’s not enough to file an internal complaint that someone within the employee’s agency is breaking the law.
Upscale retailer Barneys New York has agreed to pay $525,000 in fines to settle a lawsuit alleging it began profiling black and Hispanic customers after experiencing a spike in shoplifting and credit card fraud at its flagship store in Manhattan.
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