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.

Q. Our church day care center hired a woman who, we later found out, was living with a married man. Our director had “moral issues” with this situation and terminated her. I think the termination was illegal. Was it? —L.T., Florida

Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group was cited twice last month: First by Working Mother magazine as one of the top 100 places for women to work, and then by the EEOC as a place where pregnancy discrimination is rife ...

If you have a progressive-discipline policy in your employee handbook, it’s legally wise to follow it carefully with all employees. If you deviate from it and fire a worker quickly, be prepared to provide a good reason ...

Q. I work as an HR generalist at a large hospital. My supervisor told me to ask a certain applicant for her date of birth during the hiring process. Isn’t it illegal to ask for an applicant’s birth date? —K.G., Philadelphia

When explaining to employees the reasons for a layoff, make sure you don't contradict yourself. That's especially true when the same manager gives an employee different reasons: A jury can take those contradictions and infer discrimination ...

Your company has employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), so it's covered in case of any employee lawsuit, right? Not so fast. The fine print in an EPLI policy can turn an apparently strong lawsuit shield into a worthless piece of paper ...

Image is everything, as the saying goes. But be extra careful that your pursuit of a certain work-force image doesn’t result in the weeding out of legally protected employees (females, minorities, older workers, etc.) ...

In reversing a lower court’s decision, the New York Supreme Court recently agreed to dismiss a race- and age-discrimination lawsuit filed against New York Westchester Square Medical Center (NYWSMC) ...

Q. Are there any specific rules defining “early out” retirement packages offered to employees? Our company is planning to offer early outs. Our criteria mandate that an employee must have worked 15 years and be at least 50 years old. But we have employees who have worked as long as 28 years, but fail to meet the 50-year-old criterion. Is this age discrimination in a reverse sort of way? —T.G., Florida

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 ...