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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You can’t control every employee all the time—and you surely can’t control what comes out of their mouths.
If you place obstacles in the way of reporting potential sexual harassment, expect trouble. Employees who have to jump through hoops to get their concerns addressed may sue.

On paper, zero-tolerance policies seem like a good idea: You warn employees that your organization will not tolerate even one instance of on-the-job misconduct. But life isn’t always so simple.

Don’t worry if you need to take some time to investigate whether an employee broke a workplace rule and should be terminated. While a speedy resolution may be easy sometimes, other cases take time and deserve a thorough investigation.
Want to transfer an employee to give her a fresh start after settling an informal complaint? As long as her job remains essentially the same and the position isn’t radically different, such a move probably won’t be viewed as retaliation or another instance of discrimination.
When you talk with employees about their performance reviews, beware of using common phrases that can unintentionally communicate the wrong message, or come across as too negative or personal. Certain phrases can kill employee morale, weaken productivity or open up the organization to a discrimination lawsuit. Avoid the following phrases...
Many companies design succession plans so they can spot the next generation of leaders early and develop current employees to their full potential.
The University of California-Berkeley has promised to look more closely into charges its head basketball coach Cuonzo Martin moved too slowly to inform university officials that assistant coach Yann Hufnagel had sexually harassed a female reporter covering the team.
Employers are obligated to provide a work environment free of sexual harassment. They can’t satisfy that responsibility by segregating the workforce by gender, even if doing so would certainly prevent harassment.
Here’s a reminder that it’s not just women who can allege sex discrimination and a hostile work environment. Men can, too, under the right circumstances.
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