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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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" ...

The New Jersey Department of Labor recently announced the 2007 benefit levels for unemployment insurance, disability insurance and workers' compensation. Under New Jersey law, those benefits are adjusted annually, based on fluctuations in the statewide average weekly wage ...

Casting admiring glances or making other such flirtatious gestures toward a co-worker isn't sexual harassment under the Florida Civil Rights Act. That law doesn't require employers to guarantee that employees won't ever look at each other in a way perceived as a "come-on" ...

While employers should typically use the same education and experience requirements for all applicants for the same position, they needn’t do so in every case ...