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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Sometimes, employees who are having trouble at work think that filing EEOC complaints or lawsuits will save their jobs. It’s a ploy generally designed to paralyze management by raising the specter of a retaliation claim. But courts generally don’t hold it against an employer if it carries out a previously made discipline decision. A lawsuit or complaint doesn’t work like a cease-and-desist order ...

An agnostic paramedic sued Madison County for religious discrimination after the county offered Christian counseling, held Christian prayer meetings in the workplace and allegedly terminated him because of his agnosticism ...

Each organization has its own culture, and some even strive to differentiate themselves based on that unique atmosphere. But some words of caution are in order: If you use “cultural fit” to limit applicants or to drive out those who don’t conform, prepare for trouble ...

Without a doubt, complying with California and federal wage-and-hour rules is difficult. For example, making deductions from the regular salary of exempt employees who are absent can destroy their exemptions and mean back pay for overtime. Thankfully, there is a safe harbor ...

Does your organization have a policy requiring employees to retire (or step down to a lesser position) once they hit a certain “unbecoming” age? If so, a groundbreaking $27.5 million EEOC settlement shows that you’d better retire those policies … not the people ...

Corporate HR offices across the country began receiving e-mails last month that appeared to be from the EEOC but were actually bogus—and potentially dangerous ...

Has your organization lost a previous race discrimination lawsuit? Ouch! You can bet some of your employees filed away that information for future use. However, you can take heart in a court’s recent decision that having previously lost a discrimination suit doesn’t constitute “proof” that your organization continues to discriminate—unless the new case deals with exactly the same type of alleged discrimination ...

Does your organization have a rule against removing company documents from the workplace? If not, consider adding one. Documents should remain on the premises, and allowing them to “walk” can spell big trouble. For example, employees may be tempted to remove and copy documents they think will aid a later lawsuit against the company ...

Here’s a bit of good news for employers facing an EEOC sexual harassment investigation: A federal court has concluded that, in a pattern-and-practice lawsuit, the EEOC still must show that each and every woman it claims was subjected to a hostile work environment actually experienced the harassment ...

While being the only Hispanic, black or woman in a workplace may be uncomfortable, it doesn’t show that your employer practices discrimination. It takes more—such as statistical proof that the local labor pool includes other members of the employee’s protected class and that the organization employs a disproportionately lower number than should be on the payroll ...

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