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.
Female prison guards and Summit County officials have agreed to bring in a mediator to help settle a long-running dispute over a county policy that forbids the women from guarding prisoners who are showering. The guards claim the policy means they receive fewer raises and miss out on promotion opportunities.
If you interview employees during the course of investigating alleged misconduct, make sure to take accurate notes. Then, before concluding the interview, have the employee read and sign the notes, attesting that they accurately reflect what was said. Don’t let the employee put off signing.
People are naturally curious about where others come from. But at work, such inquisitiveness can lead to misunderstandings—and, ultimately, expensive litigation. That’s why you should counsel supervisors against asking subordinates where they are from or what nationality they hold.
Rodd Wagner has written best-selling books telling employers how to treat their employees more ethically. That didn’t prevent him from being fired from his job as a management consultant at Gallup, Inc.
People living in the United States are protected from state actions that violate the Constitution, a right that goes beyond those accorded to employees under Title VII.
He may not make the cast of “Baywatch,” but Jay Lieberfarb now has $65,000 that says Nassau County was wrong to fire him from his job as a lifeguard in 2009.
Punitive damages can take a case that’s worth just a few thousand dollars and send the tab skyrocketing. Fortunately, courts want to see clear evidence that the employer acted recklessly before they ask juries if punitive damages are appropriate.
Some employees believe that any sexual comment equals sexual harassment. That’s not true, especially when it involves so-called same-sex harassment. While you shouldn’t ignore such conduct for morale and productivity reasons, rest assured that it generally won’t make your organization liable for a big jury award.
A discrimination lawsuit compares what happened to the complaining employee with what happened to others outside his protected class. Details matter. For example, an isolated instance of rude behavior is one thing, but constant rudeness is something else entirely. It can justify different, more severe punishment.
The U.S. Department of Justice is suing the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas General Land Office for alleged pay discrimination at the now-defunct Texas Department of Rural Affairs.