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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Minneapolis-based retailer Target is scrambling to explain a training document that surfaced at one of its Northern California distribution centers. The document purports to tell supervisors how to interact with Hispanic employees—and in the process betrays some offensive stereotypes.
You don’t want to fire an employee without good grounds. Sudden deterioration in performance may be real—or a sign of age discrimination. Be especially cautious if the employee’s replacement is more than five years younger or the employee has complained about age-related comments.
Employees who lose their jobs may not understand that if filing for bankruptcy, they must list any potential litigation claim as an asset. Federal courts have dismissed even obviously valid employment discrimination lawsuits when employees failed to disclose such claims in their bankruptcy paperwork. That may no longer continue, if this recent case is any indi­­cation.
It’s impossible for everyone to remember exactly what happened during an interview held several years earlier. But that’s what an interview panel may be asked to do if a candidate sues. The best approach is to ask the panelists to take notes. Then you should collect all the panelists’ notes for potential future use.
The DOJ is suing the California Depart­­ment of Corrections and Reha­­bili­­ta­­tion (CDCR) on behalf of an employee who alleges he suffered sex discrimination and harassment. The lawsuit alleges that for more than a year, a female co-worker sexu­­ally harassed the man.
A manager and an employee at a Bronx Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant are being sued after they told a disabled Iraqi war veteran he had to leave because he had a dog with him. The vet tried to explain that his dog, named Valor, was a service animal.
Here’s a warning for your super­­visors and managers: If an em­­ployee complains that other em­­ployees are making fun of his wardrobe choices or other manner of dressing, act fast to stop the teasing.
Sometimes, work is just plain unpleasant. That’s no reason for employees to sue. Unless the working conditions can be traced to some form of illegal discrimination, the court system won’t intervene.
Track each request for ADA reasonable accommodations, along with your response. An employee’s right to sue over the denial begins as soon as it becomes obvious that her employer refused to accommodate her, and won’t be extended just because she keeps asking for an accommodation.
Stray co-worker comments about an employee’s age can be embarrassing, but they don’t turn an ordinary discharge into a winning age discrimination case. While you don’t want to encourage teasing or joking about age, don’t panic just because of an occasional insensitive word.
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