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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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Smart employers carefully track performance over the long haul—not just when a manager decides he’s had enough and wants to terminate an employee for poor performance. It’s important to lay the groundwork early on, especially if a new hire has obvious performance problems right after coming on board.
Sometimes, supervisors say stupid things. But unless a statement or action is outrageously offensive and clearly related to an employee’s race, ethnicity, sex or other protected category, it isn’t grounds for a harassment and discrimination lawsuit.

If you ever have to face off against the EEOC in court, watch out! The commission has great discretion to expand a case that may have begun with just one employee. In doing so, it may demand a long list of information about your employees, past and present. Before turning over employee information to the EEOC, ask the court to order confidentiality.

It isn’t unusual for disappointed applicants to file frivolous failure-to-hire lawsuits. Your best shot at a quick dismissal is proof that the applicant wasn’t qualified. An application or résumé can do that.
The U.S. Supreme Court and federal agencies look askance at employers that don’t train employees and supervisors how to prevent, detect and report harassment. As a practical matter, such training is essentially required.
Dallas-based DuPriest and Sons Holding will pay $24,000 to settle EEOC charges that it violated the ADA when it laid off a longtime employee after he informed his supervisor he would need regular kidney dialysis.
Many employers have in­­ternal grievance procedures for em­­ployees who feel they have been discriminated against. But what if, while the complaint is pending, the employee files a complaint with the Texas Com­­mis­­sion on Human Rights?
Temporary workers can still sue even if they no longer work for you because their contracts expired and weren’t renewed.

HR Law 101: A “protected” applicant is a person with one or more of the characteristics defined by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (race, color, sex, national origin, religion), is age 40 or older or has a disability. If your hiring process tends to screen out certain classes of applicants, you could be libel for discrimination ...

You can’t control everything that happens in the workplace. Despite your best efforts, a supervisor might still harass your employees. That doesn’t mean you’re defenseless. A good sexual harassment policy, thorough training for everyone and prompt action can save the day.

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