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.

Think you don’t have to worry about race discrimination in hiring contractors? Think again. A little-known section of the federal Civil Rights Act has become a popular vehicle for claims of race discrimination in contracting ...

Let’s say you promptly investigated a sexual harassment claim and conclude that an employee engaged in conduct that offended sensitive employees but wasn’t outrageous. What do you do? If your aim is to stem a brewing problem, it pays to do more than issue a verbal warning ...

The mantra in real estate is "location, location, location." But the mantra in employee discipline must always be "consistency, consistency, consistency" ...

If you receive an EEOC or PHRC complaint, don't jump the gun to answer the charges. Carefully inspect the documents. If you don't question obvious problems now, such as lack of a verified signature, you lose the right to raise that issue later ...

Most supervisors know that it’s illegal to voice negative racial, age or gender stereotypes in the workplace. But they may not realize that positive stereotypes also can lead to trouble ...

Q. How serious is it if written job descriptions aren't in place for employees? Is it safe to draft them even after a termination that could result in a lawsuit? —B.B., New York

As an employer, you can't always wait on a background check before offering a job, so you have to rely on applicants' oral and written statements to make the offer. But when the background check comes back to reveal that the person lied, you have the absolute right to terminate that individual for dishonesty ...

When you need to terminate an employee, it makes sense for the same manager who hired the employee to also pull the trigger on the firing. That bit of legal strategy—the so-called "same actor defense"—could help you defend a discrimination lawsuit down the road ...

Q. How long do we have to keep applications and résumés? — L.P., Kansas

Q. Our company manual doesn't address compensatory time off, but we have offered certain exempt managers an hour of comp time for every hour of overtime worked. Do we have to pay them for accrued comp time when we terminate them? In the past, we've paid comp time to some and not to others. Can we negotiate our own terms with each employee? —E.B., Oregon