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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Are you relying on company rules or the employee handbook to justify a disciplinary action such as a suspension or termination? If so, make sure you keep a copy of the handbook as it existed at the time of your decision. This is particularly important if you maintain the handbook in electronic form ...

North Carolina employees have 180 days to file discrimination complaints with the EEOC. Those who don’t meet the deadline lose their rights to sue. But the date that really counts is not the actual termination date if the employer informed the employee earlier that she would lose her job ...

The EEOC has filed suit against Smithfield-based Guy C. Lee Building Materials, alleging the company refused to hire a boom truck operator because of his age. The plaintiff, 53-year-old Andrew Moore, applied to the company’s Morehead City facility ...

The sexual harassment lawsuit against Anson Dorrance, women’s soccer coach for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is headed to trial after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case ...

When it comes to settling New Jersey employment lawsuits on the eve of trial, be forewarned: Understand all the terms of the agreement before you tell the court the matter is settled. Don’t expect to come back to court for a do-over when you later can’t agree on some of the terms. In New Jersey, a deal is a deal—even if it isn’t in writing ...

In May 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. Inc., a case that limits the potential liability of employers in wage discrimination claims brought under Title VII. New Jersey employers should bear in mind that Ledbetter was decided under Title VII—the federal statute governing employment discrimination claims. Although New Jersey state courts often look to federal decisions for guidance, it is uncertain how Ledbetter will be applied in a state court action involving the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination ...

Q. The company I work for has had an employee dress code since the company was incorporated. Recently, a male employee began coming to work dressed as a woman. His supervisor asked me if this violates the dress code. If so, can the supervisor require the male employee to dress according to the dress code for males and discipline him if he doesn’t? ...

To lower the risk of a failure-to-promote lawsuit, consider creating a cutoff point on your internal promotion list. For example, instead of considering all 15 potential candidates for an open position, consider just the top three. The disappointed candidates lower on the list will have a tougher time getting to court ...

Applicants from other countries or who were educated abroad pose special problems for HR professionals. For example, can you be sure their education and training are as good as that of U.S.-educated applicants? One way to find out is to require a credentialing company to certify the applicant’s educational equivalence. But if you go that route, make sure you inform applicants about the requirement ...

As baby boomers age, more Americans say they expect to keep working longer than their parents did. That means more older job applicants—and more age-related lawsuits. Defend against this coming onslaught by taking extra care to document your disciplinary decisions to make sure age isn’t a factor ...