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.

Attention: HR pros in financial services firms: If you’ve worried that reporting a terminated employee’s alleged wrongdoing to the National Association of Securities Dealers might leave you open to a defamation lawsuit, relax.  The Court of Appeals of New York has ruled such statements are absolutely privileged ...

Calling a female employee “honey” might not constitute sexual harassment, according to a recent federal ruling on a sexual-harassment case, but retaliating when someone complains about it will win you a ticket to court anyway ...

Illinois mirrors America’s growing diversity in many ways. Today, mosques occupy old churches; co-workers wear burqas and yarmulkes; and some employees request “prayer breaks”  ...

“If I get one more write-up, if you think they had a problem in Virginia, it’ll be worse here.” That comment by  a Suffolk County (NY) Community College employee led to his arrest. At SeaWorld in Florida, a “joke” about the Virginia Tech shootings earned an employee the same fate. Here’s how to handle such comments in your organization. Plus, learn the 8 warning signs of violent worker behavior. 

Have you offered a well-qualified applicant a lower-ranking position than her experience indicates she’s qualified to perform? If so, better make sure there’s no sex disparity in your hiring patterns ...

When a company faces sexual harassment or other discrimination complaints, the investigation has to start as soon as possible. Sometimes that means suspending participants while you sort things out. A prompt conclusion to a thorough investigation is the key to avoiding retaliation charges when you tell everyone to take a “time out” ...

Most federal discrimination laws require employees who think they have been wronged to file a complaint with the EEOC or their state’s equivalent agency before going to federal court. But that’s not the case when it comes to disability discrimination cases brought under the Ohio Revised Code anti-discrimination provisions ...

Employees who realize their jobs are in peril sometimes think pulling out the “lawsuit card” will save them. They’ll meet with an attorney, who will try to head you off with a threatened lawsuit. It sometimes succeeds because it casts the potential discharge in a sinister new light—as retaliation for threatening to sue. Here’s how to counter it and still carry through with your planned action ...

A Supreme Court case narrowly focused on FLSA protections for home health care workers may signal a broader trend worth watching. Is a conservative high court now more inclined to defer to federal agency interpretations of the law even when those interpretations limit employee rights? A new EEOC age discrimination case that could reach the Supreme Court might tell the tale.

To avoid triggering retaliation lawsuits, train managers and supervisors on how to react to a complaint. First and foremost, explain that all complaints should be received professionally and without any apparent display of disappointment or emotion. Remind them: No comment allowed ...