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.
By now, most employers are familiar with the list of categories protected from employment discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act: race, color, religion, national origin and sex. Other federal anti-discrimination laws add additional protected categories to the list: disability (ADA), age (Age Discrimination in Employment Act), pregnancy (Pregnancy Discrimination Act) and genetic information (Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act). Absent is any mention of sexual orientation or gender identity.
While there is growing acceptance of same-sex marriage and homosexuality in the United States, being transgender is still not a protected status under federal law. That may be changing in the coming years, but there is as yet nothing preventing a Texas employer from discriminating against a transgender applicant or employee, as the following case shows.
When an employee returns to work with restrictions after an illness, he or she may be disabled and entitled to reasonable ADA accommodations. Don’t make a mistake and skip the interactive accommodations process, even if you believe no accommodation is possible. You are still required to consider the possibility before taking action like terminating the employee.