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.
It’s not enough to have an anti-harassment and discrimination policy in your manual. It’s not even enough to train everyone regularly on what the policy requires. What really counts is enforcing the policy when complaints come in. If you don’t, the penalty may be punitive damages.
When you have to investigate allegations that may lead to termination, it’s a good practice to conduct that investigation as independently as possible. That often means you will have to leave out of the picture any supervisors who have a negative history with the employee.
How you choose among candidates for promotion may spell the difference between losing and winning a lawsuit. Always document the decision-making process, especially when candidates are equally qualified. Later, you may have to explain the decision in court—and your reason had better be a good, business-related one.
Sexual harassment runs the gamut, from out-and-out assault to unwelcome flirting. No sane employer would hesitate to fire someone who physically harmed a co-worker. But for less severe, isolated incidents, less drastic action may be reasonable—as long as it solves the problem.