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.

Q. We provide short-term disability leave to new mothers. Is there any reason we can’t run that leave concurrent with FMLA leave? —S.B., Washington ...

Q. We want to run paid time off concurrent with FMLA leave so employees don’t receive more than 12 weeks off (paid and unpaid combined). What if an employee says she’s taking vacation time, but we know it’s for medical tests? Can we force her to get a medical certification so we can subtract the paid vacation time? —L.L., Georgia ...

While you can encourage employees to follow certain Judeo-Christian values at work, such as cooperation, honesty and kindness, it’s never appropriate to require adherence to a particular religion or religious practices. Even if your organization’s leaders have strong religious beliefs, it must accommodate workers who don’t agree with that stance. That may mean excusing workers from retreats, prayer groups or other religious-based activities ...

Does your organization have a blanket policy of refusing to hire any applicant with a criminal record? If so, make sure you can explain exactly why. A recent Pennsylvania court ruling shows that across-the-board “no ex-cons” policies can quickly run into legal trouble unless you can prove the restriction for a specific position was “job-related and consistent with business necessity” ...

Parents vs. nonparents. Gen Y vs. Gen X and the baby boomers. In some workplaces, there’s growing tension over benefits inequality. HR better listen if employees complain that they're getting worse benefits than their co-workers. One solution: Paid time off banks can help calm discontent.

The EEOC is the first stop in a Title VII discrimination case, but not the last. Often, the agency will say there’s no case. Sometimes, however, it will issue a letter stating “determination that discrimination took place.” But that decision is by no means final. When the case goes to federal court, judges are free to ignore the EEOC’s determination ...

Rodney Sampson, co-founder and former CEO of Streaming Faith and its parent company, the Christian-media giant Multicast Media Technologies, has filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the company alleging wrongful termination and race discrimination ...

Employment lawyers have been warning for some time that blogs will one day be a volatile issue in the workplace. Recent events show that day has arrived. For example, a member of the Cherokee County, GA, Planning Commission provoked a firestorm of controversy after an online post she made advocated dismantling Israel to achieve peace in the Middle East. The outcry forced her to resign ...

If your organization is planning an extensive reorganization or creating an entirely new subsidiary, take care to consider the impact on older workers. If, in the process of leaving one company entity or subsidiary and going to another, older workers lose substantial benefits they used to enjoy, you may be courting an Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) lawsuit ...

Train managers and supervisors: No age-related comments! None. A simple sentence might not form the entire basis for an age discrimination lawsuit, but it can add fuel to an otherwise-smoldering case ...