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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A California Superior Court jury recently awarded a city firefighter $6.2 million in a lawsuit claiming race discrimination, sex discrimination, harassment and retaliation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act ...

The EEOC recently issued enforcement guidance declaring that disparate treatment of employees who care for children, parents or other family members violates federal law. “Disparate treatment” generally means an employer intentionally treated employees differently because of a protected factor such as race, gender, age or—in this case—their need to care for family members ...

Don’t fire an employee for cross-dressing or allow co-workers to harass a female worker who acts masculine until you understand your potential liability under the increasing number of “gender-identity discrimination” laws. Such laws typically prevent discrimination against workers or applicants because they don’t conform to the stereotypes of how a man or woman looks, lives or acts ...

When an employee says no to the sexual images posted in co-workers’ workstations and to their sexually laced comments, your company had better listen … and act. It shouldn’t debate over “how much” porn is acceptable. As a recent lawsuit shows, even if an employee initially tolerates a sexually charged workplace, she can drop the lawsuit hammer at any time ...

North Carolina’s unemployment compensation fund, 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, morals, and welfare of the people of this state” and the legislature is compelled to “lighten its burden [on] … the unemployed worker and his family.” North Carolina administers the law through its Employment Security Commission (ESC) (www.ncesc.com/) ...

The Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Act (REDA) is North Carolina’s super anti-discrimination law combining elements of several federal laws, including Title VII, the Fair Labor Standards Act, OSHA and USERRA. The Employment Discrimination Bureau in the state Department of Labor (www.nclabor.com/edb/edb.htm) enforces REDA ...

You have a robust sexual harassment  policy, and everyone from the lowest level employee to the company president knows how it works. But what happens if an employee tells a supervisor about possible harassment and then asks him or her not to take it up with HR? ...

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) case involving FedEx drivers. Employees in three states, including Florida, filed an ADEA suit against FedEx, citing policies designed to “drive out older workers” ...

Port St. Lucie has settled a race discrimination claim filed by a demoted meter reader for $60,000 and a promotion. The black woman filing the suit was a meter reader supervisor when she was called away for duty in the Army Reserve. Upon returning, she found she had been demoted and a white male now held her position ...

If you have a disciplinary policy that dictates punishment for different infractions, make sure you thoroughly investigate each incident. That way, you’ll be better prepared to show why one employee received a lesser punishment than another. That rationale is crucial when it comes to a discrimination lawsuit. You must be prepared to show how thorough your investigation was and why you did what you did ...