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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It’s become a little bit harder for women alleging pregnancy discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to win discharge lawsuits. To prevail, a new mother has to prove that pregnancy discrimination was a “substantial motivating factor” in her discharge.
Pittsburgh’s Guardian Angel Ambu­­lance Service faces an EEOC lawsuit alleging it breached a previous settlement agreement with a now-deceased former employee.
HR Law 101: Although Title VII does not specifically protect workers because of their sexual orientation, 21 states and the District of Columbia have laws that do. Similarly, 17 states and the District of Columbia have laws barring private employers from discriminating based on gender identity.
After an employee files an inter­­nal complaint, HR should review every reassignment or other significant job change. Even one negative move can support a retaliation lawsuit.
When men and women work together, romantic relationships are bound to occur. Even rules that prohibit such relationships—at least between supervisors and subordinates—won’t stop that from happening. But an isolated affair isn’t a legal kiss of death.
Courts don’t expect workplaces to be places of complete harmony—but they do expect employers to take complaints seriously. They want to see that bosses are disciplined when they make offensive comments.
Absent limited circumstances, a private employer using prison labor probably isn’t required to provide reasonable accommodations under the ADA.
Employees who sue for bias must show that they suffered some harm from the discrimination they allege.

HR Law 101: Employers have any number of legitimate reasons to monitor employees’ email and Internet usage. Beyond personal productivity issues, you risk significant loss should an employee download a virus or other damaging software or engage in illegal activity conducted on company computers ...

If they’re qualified, disabled employees may be entitled to transfer to an open position as an accommodation. Blocking a transfer may violate the ADA, unless you can show that the transfer would impose an undue hardship.
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