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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Here are the key points of the guidance, which was prompted by a disability discrimination spike.
Employees don’t call the shots when it comes to picking a reasonable disability accommodation. They can certainly make suggestions, but the ADA leaves the final decision to employers. As long as the chosen accommodation is reasonable, it complies with the law.
Some supervisors seem to think they can get away with mistreating low-paid workers who have few employment options. Increasingly, that confidence is misplaced.
The EEOC and Minnesota Department of Human Rights are the agencies primarily responsible for making sure employers comply with discrimination laws. When an applicant or employee files a discrimination charge in Minnesota, either agency or both will investigate.
When employees say stupid things, take some small comfort: Not every stray comment will be grounds for a successful lawsuit.
When an employee files a sex discrimination lawsuit alleging unequal pay for equal work, the employer merely needs to show that the reason for the discrepancy is something other than sex.
Sometimes, it takes a while for management to make changes in schedules and duty assignments after a promotion or transfer. A reasonable delay—even if it results in some loss of pay—isn’t considered an adverse employment action or serious enough to win a discrimination lawsuit.
Worried an employee won’t fit into a department dominated by members of a protected class? Watch out! A court might decide “fitting in” is code for bias.
Employees who have been sexually harassed or experienced other forms of discrimination over several years may be able to rely on the so-called continual violation doctrine to extend the period of time they have to sue.
Romantic relationships at work can spark all sorts of problems, from sexual harassment claims to discrimination. But not every negative consequence of a workplace romance is grounds for litigation, even if one or both paramours ends up being fired.
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