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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Unlike several other forms of discrimination—such as discrimination based on perceived disability—being mistaken for a member of a religious group and then being discriminated against based on that mistaken association isn’t illegal ...

Mark Pasternak, of Buffalo, a former youth aide for the Office of Child and Family Services, won a $150,000 verdict for discrimination he suffered nearly a decade ago. Pasternak said, “They called it reverse racism, but for me, I thought all along it was just plain racism” ...

Developing, implementing and enforcing a comprehensive anti-harassment policy is vital to create a safe and comfortable work environment and minimize the potential damage from harassment lawsuits. But having an anti-harassment policy is not enough; the policy must be implemented, promulgated and consistently enforced. Training employees and managers on harassment law and the employer’s harassment policy is an important part of an employer’s defense against a harassment claim—whether the alleged harassment was by a supervisor or a co-worker ...

In a term that will be dominated by cases concerning Guantanamo detainees and the power of the Executive branch, the U.S. Supreme Court will also hear an important case involving employment discrimination.

Millions of Americans have diabetes, and millions more have it but don’t know it. But with new medications and careful diet, most diabetics can control their condition and lead largely normal lives. That has implications for how employers handle their ADA obligations ...

Sometimes, it seems easier to just make an accommodation than argue about whether the employee requesting one is really disabled. But does making the accommodation mean you agree the employee is disabled? The answer is no. If the employee comes back asking for even more accommodations, you still can challenge her status.

Employers nationwide breathed a sigh of relief when the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that employees must promptly bring discrimination claims. But the decision in the Ledbetter case isn’t as simple as press coverage may have suggested. In fact, any move a supervisor makes that could be interpreted as retaliation for the earlier, expired claim may be seen as retaliation for earlier complaints ...

Employees are supposed to file EEOC and Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) complaints that fully explain the discrimination claims they’re making. The idea is to let employers know early on what the complaint is all about so that the case can be settled or sent on to court. But courts are lenient, sometimes bending over backward to allow a late claim based on general language in the EEOC or PHRC complaint ...

Pennsylvania employers beware: The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) and Title VII require immediate action as soon as you learn about possible sexual harassment by a supervisor. That’s true even if the victim doesn’t come forward. If you wait until she complains, it may be too late ...

Employers are legally obligated to maintain a safe work environment. When employees commit violent acts against co-workers or customers, employers can be held responsible through negligent-hiring and supervision lawsuits. Each year, roughly 1,000 people are workplace homicide victims. And research shows that killings are five to seven times more likely to occur at workplaces where guns are allowed ...

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