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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HR Law 101: The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) of 1978 prohibits discrimination on the basis of "pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions." Employers can't deny a woman a job or a promotion merely because she's pregnant or has had an abortion ...

The EEOC has established a task force to identify strategies to prevent workplace harassment, according to incoming EEOC Chair Jenny R. Yang, who presided over her first commission meeting on Jan. 14.
It is now illegal in the state to require employees to sign agreements waiving their rights under the Ralph Civil Rights Act (Civil Code 51.7) and the Tom Bane Civil Rights Act (Civil Code 52.1). Those civil rights laws prohibit hate violence and threats against citizens based on certain protected classes, such as political affiliation, sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability or medical condition, or on account of position in a labor dispute.
An oilfield services company in Iraan, Texas, faces an EEOC lawsuit after its only female roust­­about was fired.
Six California cities scored perfect 100 ratings in the Human Rights Campaign’s annual assessment of American cities with local laws and policies that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination.
Current and former employees of the Social Security Administration will receive $6.6 million to settle charges the agency failed to accommodate disabled workers and denied them promotions. A federal judge has given preliminary approval to the deal.
If you decide to deviate from your usual rules, make sure you have a legitimate business-related reason for doing so. Otherwise, you risk potential litigation if the affected employee claims the real reason you made an exception was his protected status.
If a court concludes that one of your supervisors created a hostile work environment, you probably don’t want to retain him. But don’t go overboard with the explanations.
It’s OK to occasionally deviate from the disciplinary process outlined in your employee handbook—if you leave yourself some wiggle room by explaining that some infractions are so serious they warrant immediate discharge.

We’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating: The only appropriate comment when an em­­ployee announces she’s pregnant is a cheerful “Congratulations!” Anything else can end up being used against you if you eventually have to discipline or even fire the expecting mother.