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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Q. What kinds of information and documents should we keep in our personnel files? ...

Balancing time off with reasonable accommodations can be tough if one of your employees is covered by both the FMLA and the ADA. You must be especially careful if a disability means an employee needs to take her 12 weeks of unpaid FMLA leave, but can’t quite return to work without an accommodation ...

Even with the best sexual harassment training, it’s hard for some employees to grasp exactly what constitutes sexual harassment and what’s merely horseplay or roughhousing—especially when the behavior is directed at the same sex. But that doesn’t mean that an employee who comes forward with that sort of complaint isn’t engaged in protected activity ...

Your organization probably has a sexual harassment policy and provides training on how it works. But does your policy give employees more than one way to lodge a complaint? It should. Here’s why ...

How do you handle internal discrimination complaints? If you use an ad hoc process, sometimes taking notes or preparing a report, you may be missing out on an important litigation advantage later. Develop a routine investigation process ...

When it comes to hiring or promotion decisions, courts will rarely meddle when companies make honest decisions—even if those decisions aren’t the best or most rational ones. Unless there’s some other underlying discriminatory reason, judges generally won’t second-guess even boneheaded decisions ...

If your organization operates in a union environment, much of the discipline you impose will be controlled by a collective bargaining agreement. But that doesn’t always mean that you will be able to avoid court battles over discrimination claims ...

When office romances sour, scorned lovers often use Title VII to allege that their former lover was a sexual harasser. And even if the lovers are happy, workplace romances can cause problems in the office or on the shop floor. If co-workers feel a love affair results in favoritism, the relationship may lead to charges of conflict of interest, harassment, retaliation or discrimination ...

Thirty-five percent of organizations offered retiree health benefits in 2007, up from 29% the year before, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Even so, benefits analysts say organizations are under pressure to drop the coverage to save money and to lessen a costly liability line on their financial statements ...

If someone sues you because she didn’t get hired or promoted, the hiring manager better be able to explain the selection criteria. Many can’t. That’s why it’s crucial for HR to oversee hiring and promotion processes and make absolutely certain you can document how the decision was made ...

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