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.

You may remember reading about the Pittsburgh TV station employee who allegedly swiped e-mail and documents left on employees’ desks as evidence for a discrimination lawsuit ...

Georgia mirrors America’s growing diversity in many ways. Today, mosques occupy old churches; many workers wear burqas and yarmulkes; and some employees request “prayer breaks.” Religious diversity is a reason for celebration, but it also presents challenges in the workplace ...

Recently, clever lawyers toyed with a new tactic, hoping to turn individual discrimination cases into nationwide class-action monsters. They’d find a single unhappy employee and sue on behalf of all similarly situated employees in a company’s subsidiaries ...

When conducting a reduction in force (RIF), it’s vital to handle severance offers carefully. Make sure you don’t needlessly give discharged employees the idea that they can file an age-discrimination lawsuit ...

When it rains, it pours. Recently, 11 Los Angeles police officers filed discrimination and harassment suits against Savannah Police Chief Michael Berkow ...

A New Jersey appellate court recently granted a new trial to a former Paine Webber employee who claimed the company fired her for filing a sexual harassment complaint. During trial, the employee claimed Paine Webber withheld or destroyed critical documents ...

Q. One of our male supervisors fired what we in HR thought was a poor-performing female employee. During the exit interview, the terminated employee told us that her supervisor fired her because he was sexually harassing her and she threatened to report him if it didn’t stop. It turned out that her claim was legitimate. We immediately called her back to work.

We thought we had dodged a bullet but, unfortunately, we’ve been contacted by her attorney, who threatened a lawsuit unless we agree to settle her claim for a lot of money. We will contact an attorney to represent us, but we want to know if the fact that we brought her right back to work is going to make a difference? —L.W.

Do you worry you may be courting a discrimination lawsuit when you turn away an applicant or toss an unsolicited résumé in the trash? Rest assured that turning away applicants when you don’t have an opening isn’t likely to get you in trouble ...

Don’t wait for employees to use the magic words—“sexual harassment”—to begin investigating a complaint. It’s up to you to decipher an employee’s protests to determine if they could fall into that legally dangerous harassment-complaint zone ...

When it comes time to fire a difficult employee, focus on clear and easily explained legitimate business reasons for the action you want to take. That means documenting any work problems and relating those problems to the major job functions you hired the employee to perform ...