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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Courts often reward employers for offering second chances to employees who might otherwise be fired.

The American Civil Liberties Union has asked federal and California state regulators to investigate Hollywood’s hiring practices with an eye toward addressing discrimination against women. Could pressure from politically active groups be employment law’s wave of the future?

Rest easy: As long as you take appropriate action to stop racially charged comments, the first one won’t land you in court. The key is to take every complaint seriously and immediately investigate any complaints. Then discipline the person who made the comments and warn against further comments.
The EEOC has launched a pilot program to digitally transmit documents to and from employers regarding discrimination charges filed against them. The program—called ACT Digital—is the first step in the EEOC’s move toward an online charge system that will streamline the submission of documents, notices and communications in the EEOC’s charge system.
The more general your discharge reasons, the easier it is for the former employee to argue that discrimination was in play. Conversely, specific discharge reasons make it much harder to argue discrimination because chances are the fired worker won’t find someone similarly situated (i.e., who broke exactly the same rule) for comparison. See how this played out in a recent case.

There are compelling reasons to outsource or at least get legal help with a sexual harassment complaint. First and foremost, the investigation must be quick, thorough and reasonable. Employers that drop the ball and don’t punish what looks like a clear case of sexual harassment face a long, uphill battle in court.

The New York Police Department will pay a female officer $110,000 to settle charges a superior officer harassed her and then retaliated when she refused his advances.
Same-sex harassment claims are tough to prove under Title VII. It’s especially hard if the harassment seems more for the purpose of annoying the harassed worker. But that’s not how the California Fair Employment and Housing Act handles same sex harassment, as an employer recently found out.

A Texas court has refused to give workers additional time to file discrimination lawsuits based on a so-called “discovery” rule. The case involved an employee who argued he had more time to sue because he did not realize he had been discriminated against during the 180 days immediately following the alleged discrimination. He said it took longer than that for it to become obvious that bias had occurred.

Have you ever felt that punched-in-the-gut feeling after clicking “Send” and realizing you blasted an email to the wrong person? As the CEO in this case learned, one misguided email mixed with poor judgment can stir up a potent legal stew.
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