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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Q. If we let some employees in a department return to work in a light-duty capacity, can we deny other employees that same option? We need to do this because the department no longer can operate properly with half its staff on medical leave or limited to light duty due to medical conditions. The union contract says that when an employee is eligible for medical leave, six months must pass before we may terminate the employee. —D.W., Illinois

Q. Our company manual doesn't address compensatory time off, but we have offered certain exempt managers an hour of comp time for every hour of overtime worked. Do we have to pay them for accrued comp time when we terminate them? In the past, we've paid comp time to some and not to others. Can we negotiate our own terms with each employee? —E.B., Oregon

When an employee complains about race discrimination, you know to immediately investigate. But what if a manager complains about her subordinate's racial comments? Can the company tell the manager to hold off disciplining the employee until it's had a chance to investigate the discrimination claim? Yes, as a new ruling shows ...

Insubordination is a perfectly logical and legal reason to fire an employee. But juries will be suspicious if it looks like one of your supervisors "set up" the employee to give you a reason to terminate ...

The EEOC has provided more legal cover for employers that actively recruit older applicants and offer better perks to their older employees. New proposed EEOC regulations, which reflect a 2004 Supreme Court decision, say you won't violate federal age-discrimination law if you favor older employees over younger ones ...

A 55-year-old employee whose job was eliminated in a company restructuring recently lost his age-discrimination case before the 6th Circuit Court. Reason: He had signed a separation agreement waiving all claims against the company ...

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide on an important race-discrimination employment issue: whether a fired employee can win a race-discrimination lawsuit when the manager who pulled the trigger on the termination didn’t know the employee’s race ...

Largo is struggling to live up to its “City of Progress” moniker after the city commission voted in February to fire City Manager Steve Stanton for planning a sex-change operation ...

Q. One of our employees had been out sick for two months. We’ve received a doctor’s note that just says he’s unable to work and that a return date is undetermined. We faxed and mailed FMLA paperwork, but it hasn’t been returned. Meanwhile, the employee is receiving disability benefits through our short-term disability plan. How do we calculate the start of FMLA leave? From the date the disability payment began? And if we never get the FMLA paperwork back, can we terminate him? T.B., Tennessee

Say the wrong thing during the hiring process, and you’ve got a lawsuit on your hands. Here are three tips to help keep supervisors’ feet out of their mouths ...

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