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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Both the ADA and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination make it illegal to retaliate against disabled employees who engage in what the law calls “protected activity.” Filing an EEOC complaint, testifying against an employer or cooperating in a government investigation are protected activities. So are more informal activities, such as discussing accommodations with a supervisor or HR ...

Sometimes, a problem employee claims harassment as a way to protect herself from legitimate discipline. When that happens, it may be tempting to ignore such claims on the presumption they are bogus. It may be tempting to dismiss her complaints as much ado about nothing. But you’ll ignore her at your own peril ...

If, like many employers, you want to avoid the risk of a jury trial or a judge’s unpredictable decision, you may have considered requiring employees to agree to use arbitration to settle workplace disputes. But if the agreement doesn’t conform to New Jersey’s contract laws, you may end up spending time and money defending the agreement instead of arbitrating disputes ...

Paulsboro High School has settled a gender discrimination lawsuit with its former principal, Lucia Pollino, who was suspended for six months with pay in April 2007 over allegations she let students be strip-searched ...

Q. A former employee has brought a charge of racial discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. I employ 10 people. Will I have to defend this claim? ...

Q. I have received a complaint from one of my employees alleging sexual harassment by a supervisor in my HR department. I want to bring in an independent investigator, but I’m concerned I’ll have to notify the subject of the investigation. I’ve heard that the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires me to notify employees before investigating these types of complaints through a third party. Obviously, this would make things uncomfortable for the employee who filed the complaint. Does the FCRA’s notice requirement apply to a sexual harassment investigation? ...

If you receive a discrimination complaint, conduct a prompt and thorough investigation. Then have an independent party decide on any discipline. If the investigation was independent and the decision-maker was not the same person who allegedly discriminated against the employee, it won’t matter if the decision-maker was wrong—just that he or she believed the reason was genuine ...

When it comes to filing a sexual harassment claim under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, employees have just one year from the date of the alleged sexual harassment to file a complaint. Missing that deadline bars the employee from suing. But sexual harassment rarely occurs in a vacuum, and there’s rarely just one incident ...

A workplace affair can wreak havoc if the couple breaks up—especially if one is a supervisor. There may be a sexual harassment claim lurking in the affair. But that’s not the only problem. Sometimes an office affair can create an uncomfortable situation for other employees ...

The EEOC last month issued an extensive fact sheet that explains how federal anti-discrimination laws apply to pre-hire tests. The nonbinding guidance focuses on the best—and legal—practices for cognitive tests, personality tests, medical exams, credit checks and criminal background tests ...