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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Local governments in Indiana sometimes legislate their own rules for employers within their jurisdictions. For example, some municipalities have living-wage laws stipulating higher pay than the state minimum wage ($5.85 per hour), while others ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity ...

When it comes to discrimination, your best defense is treating everyone absolutely equally. That’s tough to do without a central HR tracking system. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Make sure you note any problems (and praise) in each employee’s official file. Then, do regular audits—pulling out data on age, sex, national origin and race—to tabulate types of problems and any discipline levied ...

Jeffrey Hawthorne, a Mercer County Children and Youth Services (CYS) caseworker, sued the agency for gender discrimination, alleging his supervisors wanted to create an “all-female work force,” and “treated men differently from women” ...

A Pittsburgh system/supply analyst sued Del Monte Foods for race and age discrimination after being passed over for several promotions despite excellent reviews ...

Local governments in North Carolina sometimes legislate their own rules for employers within their jurisdictions. For example, Durham County and the city of Durham have living-wage laws stipulating higher pay than the state minimum wage ($6.15 per hour) while Orange County has its own human rights ordinance ...

Indiana’s unemployment compensation system, like that of many other states, provides temporary payments to employees who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. The program draws from a public policy that assumes “economic insecurity due to unemployment is … a serious menace to the health, morale, and welfare of the people of this state and to the maintenance of public order” and is “essential to public welfare.” Indiana administers its unemployment compensation program through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (www.in.gov/dwd/) ...

Suppose your organization decides to alter its retirement plan. You shoot out an e-mail about the change, but fail to secure written proof that employees have read and understand the modifications. Three months later, an employee retires based on promises made in the old retirement plan, resulting in lost pension dollars. He sues, saying he never got wind of the retirement-plan change. This true story occurs surprisingly often in U.S. workplaces ...

Under the Indiana Civil Rights Act, it’s unlawful to subject people to differential treatment based on race, religion, color, sex, disability, national origin or ancestry. The law prohibits discrimination in education, employment, access to public conveniences and accommodations, as well as real estate transactions ...

A federal jury has awarded a Tyson Foods supervisor $1 million, illustrating again that preventing racial discrimination is much cheaper than trying to litigate your way out of a preventable lawsuit. Take this opportunity to remind managers that what they say does matter.

Faced with a performance problem, too many employers seize on the first reason to discharge an employee instead of thoroughly reviewing the person’s work and documenting any problems in his or her file. That’s fine, if the firing rationale stands up to scrutiny and the employee doesn’t sue. But if the employee claims some form of discrimination, you want the reason you chose to be rock-solid ...