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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Civil court cases can cost employers large amounts of time and money to resolve. Increasingly, employers have embraced arbitration as a way to curb these costs. But before you have all employees sign arbitration agreements, be sure to consider all the costs. You may find that arbitration isn’t the cost-effective strategy you think it is ... 

Q. We don’t have a hotline for employees to call to complain about harassment, discrimination or retaliation. We have been considering one, but we are concerned about anonymous complaints. Should we set up one anyway? ...

Q. Our hiring process involves conducting background and reference checks. If an employee has a felony conviction within the past seven years, we automatically refuse employment. Any reason we should change our policy? ...

The only thing between your organization and a discriminatory discharge verdict is the HR office. An impartial and cool-headed HR professional must oversee the process every time an employee is terminated. Keep careful track of exactly how the decision-making process moves forward in every case, and insist that HR have the final word on termination ...

Sometimes, employers may want to maintain some flexibility to handle unique leave situations. For example, what would your organization do if a valued, loyal and long-term employee developed a terminal disease? Would you allow him a “leave of absence” with continued insurance coverage until his death to save his family from financial ruin? You can, if you are careful about exactly how you go about it ...

Employers that give in to the temptation to punish a troublemaker for complaining about alleged discrimination set themselves up for a retaliation lawsuit. The irony, of course, is that often the underlying discrimination complaint will amount to nothing, while the retaliation case snowballs out of control. Even minor changes to an employee’s work schedule, routine or tasks may mean a large retaliation jury verdict ...

When a group of women all experience the same sort of harassment, it takes just one to find an attorney. She will then try to persuade the others to join in, making for a much more compelling story in court. The best approach is to take every complaint seriously ...

According to a recent Northern District of Illinois federal trial court ruling, the EEOC doesn’t have to give employers more than a modicum of information when it files a federal discrimination lawsuit. Apparently, it’s enough to start a lawsuit with only general allegations that an employer “engaged in unlawful employment practices” ...

As of Jan. 1, 2008, employees have new rights under the Illinois Human Rights Act. The amendment, signed last August, permits employees for the first time to bring civil actions in circuit court and have their cases heard by juries. Originally, the Illinois Human Rights Act was a completely administrative, nonjury process for resolving employment discrimination claims ...

Few HR dilemmas are as sticky as dealing with an employee accused of stealing from the company. Here's how to handle the situation with care, making sure your organization doesn't overstep its bounds and expose itself to liability.

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