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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If you’ve never had any formal psychiatric training, maybe it’s time you put your business plan aside and register for Psych 101. Why? A recent court ruling shows how the FMLA can require you and your supervisors to play psychiatrist, too ...

While no employer should condone any form of workplace harassment, it isn’t always necessary to terminate the alleged harasser. After all, sometimes it may be a matter of “he said/she said,” making it tough to sort out what really happened. That’s likely if there are no witnesses. In those cases, the best move may be to separate the parties ...

When you catch an employee red-handed breaking a rule and you have solid evidence on your side, it seems like a no-brainer to fire him. But when you do, keep this in mind: If you lose an incriminating tape, e-mail or handwritten note, expect to lose the case ...

It may seem obvious, but it bears repeating: Tell supervisors and managers to avoid discussing religion if at all possible. And never, ever use blunt terms to make an employee choose between her religion and her job. Instead, focus any discussion of religious accommodations on the company’s legitimate needs ...

Nothing will fuel a lawsuit more than management’s poor behavior. While discharging an employee for any reason is stressful for everyone involved, there is a right and a wrong way to do it. The wrong way is to get emotional, to shout and unceremoniously throw the employee off the premises ...

One of the fastest paths to a nasty race discrimination case—and all the bad publicity that follows—is for a supervisor to make a racist comment. If that supervisor is then involved in any disciplinary action against the employee, chances are those earlier comments will provide the employee with direct evidence of discrimination ...

A recent federal trial court decision means employees can’t sue to challenge the constitutionality of a Michigan workers’ compensation ruling in both state and federal courts. That’s good news for employers that now won’t have to fight it out in both courts at the same time ...

Gov. Jennifer Granholm has issued an order barring discrimination against state workers based on gender identity or expression ...

Employers can’t discriminate against employees because of their honestly held religious beliefs. On the other hand, those religious beliefs don’t give employees the right to alter their jobs based on those beliefs. This is especially true for public employees who might expose their agencies to First Amendment establishment clause litigation ...

The best—quite possibly the only—protection employers have against losing a sexual harassment lawsuit is an effective sexual harassment policy. But a policy isn’t worth the paper it’s written on if employees don’t know about it or find it hard to use ...