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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If there’s one situation in which the HR function really earns its keep, it’s when an employer faces the prospect of having to discharge an employee. Sometimes—if a subordinate has a legitimate complaint against the supervisor, for example—the supervisor harbors illegal retaliatory motives. That’s when it’s best to have an independent decision-maker involved ...

Many discrimination lawsuits are the direct result of poor performance appraisal processes. A supervisor who is eager to maintain a cordial and productive workplace may hold back on legitimate criticism to avoid rocking the boat. This tactic can backfire badly once a new supervisor begins enforcing productivity rules and downgrades an employee previously rated “stellar.” If that employee is also a member of a protected class, look out ...

The Indianapolis Fire Department has agreed to pay $350,000 to settle a sexual discrimination suit filed by a female captain. The captain claimed she was harassed, unjustly disciplined and not considered for promotion ...

Q. Our office manager wants to move to a paperless system. Are there any documents that we must maintain in paper form? ...

Employees whose jobs involve telling their employers that they may be violating laws aren’t necessarily protected from retaliation under North Carolina law or under the federal Title VII—if the reporting concerns areas covered by the Civil Rights Act or the Fair Labor Standards Act ...

If your company’s business strategy includes promotion from within and constant innovation, unambitious employees may serve as poor role models. You may, in fact, want to ease them out in favor of new employees. Before you do, consider ways to light a fire under the feet of complacent employees. Here’s why this is crucial ...

SmartStyle Family Hair Salon has paid $20,000 plus additional relief to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the EEOC ...

A recent survey found that potent scents ranked #4 on the list of employees’ workplace pet peeves. Yet for some who suffer from multiple chemical sensitivity, strong odors aren’t just an annoyance—they’re a real health concern. Is it serious enough to warrant ADA accommodation?

Q. Today, I received notice of a discrimination claim from a former employee I fired 200 days ago. I thought my company was in the clear because employment discrimination complaints had to be filed within 180 days. I was surprised to hear from my HR department that the limitation period for filing the complaints can extend to 300 days. Is this true? And under what circumstances does the 300-day deadline apply? ...

While it may be unlawful to employ illegal immigrants under the Immigration Reform and Control Act, that doesn’t mean undocumented employees can’t sue for alleged employment discrimination based on other factors, such as pregnancy. Federal courts will still entertain discrimination lawsuits, ignoring illegal status ...

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