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.

Expect this summer's blockbuster U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Burlington Northern v. White, to swell the number of retaliation complaints and legal claims ...

When employees file age-discrimination lawsuits, their lawyers may try to bolster the case by seeking out co-workers who have the same complaint ...

Florida’s population is the oldest in the United States. So perhaps it comes as no surprise that older workers in the state are becoming increasingly litigious in filing Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) lawsuits ...

Q. We're afraid that one of our employees may have been subjected to discriminatory behavior. But she hasn't filed a complaint. What should we do? Do we have an obligation to bring it up and investigate even if she declines? —S.P., Louisiana

Q. I know that the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) requires that I provide an employee who has been discharged as part of a “group” termination at least 45 days to consider the terms of a release waiving his or her rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). How many employees constitute a “group”? —N.W., Pennsylvania

Because of a quirk in Pennsylvania law, employers may soon see an uptick in state-based employment lawsuits. Reason: A federal court clarified that all state employment claims must be filed within the appropriate state statute of limitations (one year, for example, on defamation cases). Employees can't wait to file a state claim until the EEOC or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission completes its investigation, the court said ...

Domestic violence isn't always domestic. It comes to the workplace as lost productivity, excessive absenteeism, employee depression, increased health costs and, in the worst-case scenario, as violence at the workplace ...

Q. One of our employees had been out sick for two months. We’ve received a doctor’s note that just says he’s unable to work and that a return date is undetermined. We faxed and mailed FMLA paperwork, but it hasn’t been returned. Meanwhile, the employee is receiving disability benefits through our short-term disability plan. How do we calculate the start of FMLA leave? From the date the disability payment began? And if we never get the FMLA paperwork back, can we terminate him? —T.B., Tennessee

Q. If we let some employees in a department return to work in a light-duty capacity, can we deny other employees that same option? We need to do this because the department no longer can operate properly with half its staff on medical leave or limited to light duty due to medical conditions. The union contract says that when an employee is eligible for medical leave, six months must pass before we may terminate the employee. —D.W., Illinois

Conventional wisdom holds that employers won't face strict scrutiny if they fire employees who aren't meeting performance expectations during their probationary period. Conventional wisdom is wrong, at least when it comes to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission ...