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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When it comes to filing a sexual harassment claim under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, employees have just one year from the date of the alleged sexual harassment to file a complaint. Missing that deadline bars the employee from suing. But sexual harassment rarely occurs in a vacuum, and there’s rarely just one incident ...

A workplace affair can wreak havoc if the couple breaks up—especially if one is a supervisor. There may be a sexual harassment claim lurking in the affair. But that’s not the only problem. Sometimes an office affair can create an uncomfortable situation for other employees ...

If you receive a discrimination complaint, conduct a prompt and thorough investigation. Then have an independent party decide on any discipline. If the investigation was independent and the decision-maker was not the same person who allegedly discriminated against the employee, it won’t matter if the decision-maker was wrong—just that he or she believed the reason was genuine ...

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 ...

The EEOC last month issued an extensive fact sheet that explains how federal anti-discrimination laws apply to pre-hire tests. The nonbinding guidance focuses on the best—and legal—practices for cognitive tests, personality tests, medical exams, credit checks and criminal background tests ...

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 ...

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