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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You probably heard about last month’s big $11.6 million sexual harassment verdict against former basketball star and New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas. The bad news: Your employees heard about it, too … and it planted a seed in their minds. Will they see your organization’s pockets as the path to a similar windfall? ...

Q. We’re having tardiness and absenteeism issues with our employees. If we place an employee on probation for an excessive number of times tardy and days absent, can we require no absences at all during the probation period? —C.V., New Jersey ...

A man who landed a job with the Penn-Harris-Madison (P-H-M) School Corp. after fleeing Hurricane Katrina has agreed to drop his race discrimination complaint in exchange for $15,000. As part of the agreement, the man will resign ...

A cosmetology instructor in the state prison system will have her case heard by a jury after she convinced a judge her employer most likely retaliated against her for filing a race discrimination charge with the EEOC ...

Train everyone in your organization who might receive legal documents—from the mailroom clerk to the front-desk receptionist—to pass them on to management ASAP. Misplaced pleadings can mean an easy win for the person suing. What’s worse, if you miss important deadlines, you’ll lose any chance you might have had to get the case tossed out ...

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Chief Michael Berkow was dropped from the sex-discrimination lawsuit that has dogged him since he took office in Georgia last year ...

If you have long-term employees whose performances are deteriorating, step carefully. Their long histories with the company could mean you’ll have a hard time justifying terminations even in light of poor performances. Instead of jumping the gun and firing immediately, take your time. In fact, it may be a good idea to allow more than one supervisor to witness each declining employee performance up close ...

When it comes to reverse discrimination, comments by senior managers may backfire if others perceive them as encouraging racial preferences. For example, when a high-level executive comments that the organization needs more black employees in management positions, hiring managers could construe it as authorization to bypass qualified white candidates in favor of black candidates with lesser qualifications ...

Planned Parenthood Centers of West Michigan in Grand Rapids won a race discrimination case filed by a black health care specialist, who was fired for falsifying patient records and dispensing emergency contraceptive pills (ECPs) without required staff approvals ...

Employees who begin to feel less valued at work often look for some underlying reason. Often they focus on suspected age, sex, national origin or some other form of discrimination. Then, when a layoff or reorganization costs them their jobs, they sue. Frequently they’ll argue that they should have been offered open positions, even if it would have meant receiving a smaller salary than they had been making ...

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