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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Sometimes, work is just plain unpleasant. That’s no reason for employees to sue. Unless the working conditions can be traced to some form of illegal discrimination, the court system won’t intervene.
Track each request for ADA reasonable accommodations, along with your response. An employee’s right to sue over the denial begins as soon as it becomes obvious that her employer refused to accommodate her, and won’t be extended just because she keeps asking for an accommodation.
Stray co-worker comments about an employee’s age can be embarrassing, but they don’t turn an ordinary discharge into a winning age discrimination case. While you don’t want to encourage teasing or joking about age, don’t panic just because of an occasional insensitive word.
According to a suit filed in federal court, workers at a New York City Starbucks openly mocked deaf patrons—and their rude behavior didn’t stop there.
Here’s an important reminder that employees don’t have to be black to complain about racial harassment in the workplace and win a large jury award.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in a workplace harassment case may alter the way future harassment suits are brought against employers.
Merrill Lynch will pay $160 million to 1,200 black brokers who have worked for the Wall Street giant since 2001. The plaintiffs’ attorneys alleged that Merrill Lynch (now owned by Bank of America) engaged in “systemic” discrimination.
Employees who file discrimination charges are protected from retaliation; any adverse action an employer takes afterward can be retaliation. The closer in time the two events are, the more likely a retaliation claim will stick. Your only real protection is having a rock-solid reason for your action.
The Silver Diner in Lexington will pay $25,000 to a former waitress to settle claims she was sexually har­­assed by one of the diner’s owners. She claimed when she complained to other owners, her hours were cut. Ulti­­mately, the owners tired of her complaints and terminated her.
Most workplaces now reflect the nation’s increasing diversity. Don’t let that worry you. An employee can’t sue just because a ­manager who makes employment decisions belongs to a different racial group.
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