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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.

Because of a quirk in Pennsylvania law, employers may soon see an uptick in state-based employment lawsuits. Reason: A federal court clarified that all state employment claims must be filed within the appropriate state statute of limitations (one year, for example, on defamation cases). Employees can't wait to file a state claim until the EEOC or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission completes its investigation, the court said ...

Domestic violence isn't always domestic. It comes to the workplace as lost productivity, excessive absenteeism, employee depression, increased health costs and, in the worst-case scenario, as violence at the workplace ...

Q. One of our employees had been out sick for two months. We’ve received a doctor’s note that just says he’s unable to work and that a return date is undetermined. We faxed and mailed FMLA paperwork, but it hasn’t been returned. Meanwhile, the employee is receiving disability benefits through our short-term disability plan. How do we calculate the start of FMLA leave? From the date the disability payment began? And if we never get the FMLA paperwork back, can we terminate him? —T.B., Tennessee

HR Law 101: The EEOC has become proactive in protecting workers from a sexually hostile environment. In 2007 alone, the agency recovered from employers nearly $50 million for victims of harassment ...

HR Law 101: When a new hire comes on board, you must determine whether to classify him or her as exempt or nonexempt under the FLSA. The key consideration: Exempt workers aren’t eligible for overtime pay. Rather, they’re paid for the job they do, not the hours they keep ...

HR Law 101: When an eligible employee returns from FMLA leave, the employer must restore him or her to the same position or an equivalent one with equivalent benefits, pay and other terms and conditions of employment. The new position must involve the same or substantially similar duties, responsibilities and authority ...

HR Law 101: When independent contractors are acting as a company’s agents, the company is liable for their actions, according to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2003 ...

HR Law 101: Even though job descriptions are absolutely essential, too few employers use them effectively, and some even view them as a nuisance. Every employer should maintain a file of up-to-date job descriptions for all the positions in the organization ...

HR Law 101: Make sure your job advertisements are based on accurate, up-to-date job descriptions and comply with anti-discrimination laws. Don’t use phrases like “perfect for college students” or “ideal for working mothers” …

Twelve years ago, Fred Sturdivant supervised Mark Johnson, a shooting star who’d become a senior vice president by age 29. After the young man left for an executive job at a tech firm, married and started a family, the two men stayed in touch.