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 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 ...

If possible, it makes sense to have the same person provide hiring and firing input. Here’s why: Logically, it makes no sense for someone to hire an applicant despite apparent protected characteristics (e.g., gender, race, religion) and then fire that person because of those same characteristics. Although it may not be enough to get a case dismissed, courts will consider it and it may persuade a jury in your favor ...

The ADA is a tricky law. Not only is it illegal to discriminate against applicants and employees with disabilities, but it’s illegal to perceive as disabled those who actually aren’t. It’s no wonder many employers fear that making accommodations might backfire. So they put off agreeing to accommodations and wait until they're sure an employee really is disabled. But that’s the wrong response ...

Twenty-two current and former workers for Casino Queen of East Saint Louis filed a federal lawsuit alleging the casino disciplines black workers more harshly than white workers and favors white employees in giving job assignments and promotions ...

A newly passed law, H.B.1509, recently amended the Illinois Human Rights Act to allow employees to sue employers for discrimination and harassment in state courts. Until now, employees were confined to filing charges either through the federal EEOC or the Illinois Department of Human Rights ...

Chances are your anti-harassment policy includes instructions for reporting any problems. That’s not enough—you also must make sure the policy is implemented. But don’t worry if circumstances require you to veer slightly from the policy ...

When a supervisor enters into a sexual relationship with a subordinate, chances are things won’t go well for the company. That’s one reason you should put in place strict limits on dating for supervisors and subordinates. You can prohibit such relationships altogether, or insist that anyone contemplating dating a subordinate must notify HR first so he or she can be removed from the supervisory role before the relationship starts. Otherwise, you risk a sexual-harassment lawsuit, especially if the supervisor later punishes the subordinate ...

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