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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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Because damages are unlimited in Pennsylvania common-law tort claims, disgruntled employees and their attorneys sometimes try to turn run-of-the-mill harassment cases into intentional-infliction-of-emotional-distress lawsuits. The payoff can be huge.
If you are receiving reports that a manager or supervisor is engaging in name-calling, look beyond the obvious problem. It just may be that discrimination is a pervasive problem. It’s your job to bring it to light before it’s too late.

Some things in life are certain. Like death and taxes, litigation follow­ing a firing after a discrimination complaint will happen. The reason: Judges are reluctant to toss out retaliation claims without first hearing all the evidence.

Employers that discipline employees who make racially offensive comments have done what’s required of them. Unless they hear about a recurrence, it’s safe to assume the problem was solved.
An Iowa jury has awarded 32 men with intellectual disabilities the largest verdict in EEOC history—$240 million for 20 years of disability discrimination and abuse.
Employers have no obligation to try to anticipate if a disabled employee needs reasonable accommodations. It’s up to employees to ask for accommodations help.
Charlotte-based Metro Special Police & Security Services faces EEOC charges that a captain and lieutenant, both men, solicited male security ­officers for sex and forced them to go to gay bars while on duty.
When you get a discrimination or harassment complaint, it’s essential to launch an immediate investigation. If the employee quits, continue the investigation. That way, in case of a lawsuit, you can show the court you took the complaint seriously.

If employees don’t ask for religious accommodations, then there’s no need to worry about special schedules. That’s because your obligation to accommodate religious needs begins when an employee asks for accommodation. If he never requests a schedule change, you don’t need to do anything.

When business is down and you need to make cost-saving cuts, it can be tempting to use that as an excuse to shed a “troublemaking” employee. Don’t do it.

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