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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As employers continue to try doing more with less, employees sometimes find themselves handling additional duties and responsibilities. That can cause real problems if it results in female employees doing extra work, and they wind up being paid less than male co-workers.
Two corporations that own a Ken­­tucky Fried Chicken franchise in Rocky Mount face an EEOC lawsuit after they fired a long-term employee for dress code violations.
Ordinarily, it takes a discharge, demotion or other serious decision to support a ­discrimination law­­suit. Being fired, demoted or not promoted are so-called adverse employment actions. But even a series of minor employment actions can amount to an adverse action under the right circumstances.
It’s become a little bit harder for women alleging pregnancy discrimination under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to win discharge lawsuits. To prevail, a new mother has to prove that pregnancy discrimination was a “substantial motivating factor” in her discharge.
Pittsburgh’s Guardian Angel Ambu­­lance Service faces an EEOC lawsuit alleging it breached a previous settlement agreement with a now-deceased former employee.
After an employee files an inter­­nal complaint, HR should review every reassignment or other significant job change. Even one negative move can support a retaliation lawsuit.
When men and women work together, romantic relationships are bound to occur. Even rules that prohibit such relationships—at least between supervisors and subordinates—won’t stop that from happening. But an isolated affair isn’t a legal kiss of death.
Courts don’t expect workplaces to be places of complete harmony—but they do expect employers to take complaints seriously. They want to see that bosses are disciplined when they make offensive comments.
Absent limited circumstances, a private employer using prison labor probably isn’t required to provide reasonable accommodations under the ADA.
Employees who sue for bias must show that they suffered some harm from the discrimination they allege.
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