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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Simply put, documentation is what wins many lawsuits. That’s especially true when more than one supervisor has documented past problems.
Here’s something to consider when punishing employees for the use of racial or ethnic slurs: Don’t think that one race can use a term, but that another cannot.
The federal court hearing a sexual harassment and hostile work environment case has agreed to settle the case with a modest payment and extensive EEOC monitoring to prevent further harassment. While the payment was relatively small, the company will now endure regular EEOC visits to check on its progress.
Shipping giant FedEx faces an EEOC lawsuit alleging that it systematically fails to accommodate deaf and hearing-impaired employees.

Occasionally, a worker will do something truly stupid: tagging offensive graffiti, posting jokes that aren’t funny or leaving anonymous, bigoted notes. Whatever form it takes, make sure you respond immediately. Show you mean business about stamping out harassment.

Courts considering pay discrimination claims want to believe that employers don’t purposely adopt policies that pay men more than women for the same work. But employers won’t win many lawsuits if they can’t explain exactly how pay differences came about. Simply put, if you have a complicated process for determining compensation, be ready to share it with the court.

Does the Pregnancy Discrimination Act require employers to accommodate expectant mothers in the same way they must accommodate disabled workers? That was the question before the U.S. Supreme Court when it heard oral arguments Dec. 3 in Young v. UPS, a closely watched case that could affect workplaces nationwide.
Don’t think that by ignoring obvious harassment, it will go away. More likely, the offensive be­­havior will escalate—and may even turn into a brawl or worse.
Pittsburgh security firm Capital Asset Protection can look forward to an age discrimination from a 70-year-old former security guard who was hailed as a hero for helping to end a violent rampage at a high school—and then lost his job.

There’s flirting and then there’s sexual harassment. If the flirter is a supervisor, it’s probably sexual harassment whether or not there was any physical contact. Set a strict no-fraternization rule for supervisors and subordinates.

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