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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The mantra in real estate is "location, location, location." But the mantra in employee discipline must always be "consistency, consistency, consistency" ...

Because of a quirk in Pennsylvania law, employers may soon see an uptick in state-based employment lawsuits. Reason: A federal court clarified that all state employment claims must be filed within the appropriate state statute of limitations (one year, for example, on defamation cases). Employees can't wait to file a state claim until the EEOC or the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission completes its investigation, the court said ...

If you receive an EEOC or PHRC complaint, don't jump the gun to answer the charges. Carefully inspect the documents. If you don't question obvious problems now, such as lack of a verified signature, you lose the right to raise that issue later ...

Domestic violence isn't always domestic. It comes to the workplace as lost productivity, excessive absenteeism, employee depression, increased health costs and, in the worst-case scenario, as violence at the workplace ...

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

Most supervisors know that it’s illegal to voice negative racial, age or gender stereotypes in the workplace. But they may not realize that positive stereotypes also can lead to trouble ...

Q. How serious is it if written job descriptions aren't in place for employees? Is it safe to draft them even after a termination that could result in a lawsuit? —B.B., New York

Q. A new employee has just informed his supervisor that he can't work any overtime. Can we legally fire this person? —G.M., Virginia

You know the workplace should be free of racially or sexually charged comments and that supervisors most certainly shouldn't engage in such banter. But you can't wipe prejudice out of every employee's mind ...

If economic conditions force you to downsize, be prepared for lawsuits. That's especially true if no employees stand out as obvious poor performers who should be canned. In such cases, articulate that you have no choice but to fire "the worst of the best" ...

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