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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Life can be unfair. When an em­­ployee complains about unfairness at work, make sure you document the complaint and make some notes on exactly what she said. If you can show she never mentioned sex, race, age or some other protected characteristic as the underlying reason for the “unfair” treatment she complained about, she hasn’t engaged in “protected activity” and can’t bring a retaliation claim against her employer.

Employees alleging discrimination or retaliation for engaging in protected activity have to show they suffered an adverse employment action. Typically, that means they were fired, demoted or transferred to a less desirable position. But what if the employer simply removes responsibilities, even as the worker retains his title, pay and benefits?

Here’s a surefire way to spur a lawsuit and ensure it goes to trial: Just fire an employee who has been the target of her boss’s racial slurs.
The EEOC handled 25,957 charges of disability discrimination in fiscal year 2013, up from 15,864 in 2000.
A Minneapolis conveyor-belt company faces a disability discrimination suit after it allegedly refused to rehire an employee after he had a heart attack.

Employees who report what they perceive as offensive sexual conduct to their employer may think they are engaged in so-called protected activity. That’s rarely the case. While the sexual activity they observe may indeed be offensive in the workplace, reporting it doesn’t mean the employee suddenly has protection from retaliation.

A New Jersey woman is suing her former employer, contending she was fired after requesting different hours so she could avoid rush-hour traffic.
The Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas faces an EEOC age dis­crimination lawsuit after it dismissed a 70-year-old employee.
Here’s a tip that may save you from unnecessary litigation: When it comes to disciplining a disruptive worker, focus on the behavior. Don’t speculate on the reason the employee may be disruptive.
You conduct interviews to help determine who is the best candidate for a position. But every interview carries with it the possibility of a lawsuit.
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