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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Sometimes, despite uncertainty about whether or not discrimination has occurred, you still may have to fire an employee. But what if you turn out to be wrong? Will that mean a huge punitive damages award? Not if you can show that before the decision was made, you consulted an attorney. That’s right: Calling in the lawyers is the best insurance—if you do it right ...
Not every mental or physical condition is a disability under the ADA. Consider claustrophobia. Though the condition, which involves the inability to remain in a confined space such as an elevator, may be a legitimate psychiatric condition, it does not necessarily prevent those who suffer from it from living a relatively normal life ...
You probably have had people who claim they are disabled apply for open positions with your organization. How you handle each application can have a great impact: If you handle them incorrectly, you’re asking for a lawsuit. That’s why it’s crucial for HR to monitor what happens to each employment application ...
As employers, we would like to think employees would be grateful for bonuses no matter the amount. But employees may perceive a smaller than expected bonus (or a bonus denied) as retaliation for engaging in protected activity ...
When an employee sues for an alleged discriminatory firing, the court will want to see the employee’s evaluation. A sterling evaluation and high praise quickly cast doubt on a termination supposedly based on poor performance. How, then, can you encourage honest evaluations? Have employees identify their own weaknesses and address those in their performance evaluations ...
While employee handbooks are essential, be careful. If they are worded improperly, they can tie employers’ hands—and may even create employment contracts that remove the at-will status that allow employees to be terminated for any legal reason ...
Here’s a worry for public employees who find themselves assigned to participate in pre-termination hearings: If you don’t follow the hearing rules, you just might lose the qualified immunity you ordinarily have for employment decisions—and wind up being sued personally ...
Courts generally bend over backward to make sure employees get their day in court. Employers can’t count on courts to toss out vague complaints. That’s why it pays to take every EEOC complaint seriously. As soon as you get wind of a complaint, contact your attorneys right away ...
Ordinarily, employers should be leery of considering subjective factors when making employment decisions. Objective measures such as surpassing sales quotas, meeting quantitative goals and finishing assigned projects are the best measures for gauging employees. But sometimes you have to make tough decisions ...
The more specific and clear the minimum hiring or promotion criteria, the better. Detailed requirements net you better candidates and allow you to defend your hiring decisions later—if you need to ...
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