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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.

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

Q. When, if ever, can our company legally ask an applicant about his or her religious affiliation? —R.M., Illinois

Q. Our church day care center hired a woman who, we later found out, was living with a married man. Our director had “moral issues” with this situation and terminated her. I think the termination was illegal. Was it? —L.T., Florida

Employers in York County may soon have to deal with a new anti-discrimination agency that would investigate complaints and run programs to eliminate discrimination ...

Q. One of our employees is over age 70 and has had a broken foot, memory problems and a recent car wreck that caused some residual problems. Should we allow her to work? What can we do (if anything) to protect ourselves from potential workers' comp claims should she injure herself?

Expect a call from an employment lawyer when a disgruntled employee is fired. If the axed employee belongs to a protected class (race, sex, disability, etc.), expect more than a call ...

Q. Is our company required to provide a couch or cot on the premises in the event that an employee becomes ill? Are there any laws that dictate safety or health reasons for doing this? —V.A., Ohio

You may think it's obvious, but it has taken a federal appeals court to make clear that employees have no federal right to competent employment-law counsel, as offered in criminal cases. Employees who pick incompetent attorneys don't get a second chance to sue. That's good news for employers, who won't have to face the same lawsuit again if an employee's less-than-stellar lawyer bumbles the case ...

You may believe that interns, volunteers or other unpaid helpers aren’t official “employees” so they can’t sue for discrimination. You’d be wrong ...

Frivolous lawsuits will forever be a thorn in the side of HR. But, according to a new report, employees are becoming more successful in job discrimination complaints filed with the EEOC ...