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.
Smart employers have policies that require supervisors to document all discipline. That documentation can come in handy if a discharged employee decides to sue. The fact is, employers usually win lawsuits if they show they had a legitimate reason for an employment decision.
Here’s a cautionary tale for supervisors who have a learning-disabled subordinate. Do all you can to accommodate the employee and don’t let co-workers—or anyone in the workplace—make fun of disability traits.
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.
The 7th Circuit has held that employees who participate in employer internal investigations before administrative charges or lawsuits have been filed are not protected from retaliation. It’s different, however, after such charges have been filed.
Some employees think that any unfair treatment is grounds for a lawsuit under either federal law or California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Fortunately for employers, mundane workplace gripes aren’t enough to support a lawsuit.
Employees who complain to their employers about discrimination are usually protected from retaliation. But they must at least mention the sort of discrimination at issue. Simply protesting that an evaluation wasn’t fair won’t do the trick.
If you are contemplating changing your compensation structure to reflect today’s lean job market, do so carefully—especially if you suspect you may be overpaying some senior employees for the work they do.