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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If you haven’t already, warn everyone who serves on hiring committees or is otherwise involved in hiring-related decisions to keep their thoughts to themselves. For example, they should never discuss the inner workings of the ­hiring process with candidates.

A recent court case raises a growing issue: Just because a company has a building, do workers need to show up there to get their jobs done?
A Manhattan chef will see her largest payday ever after a state appellate court upheld a $1.6 million judgment against her former employer. Edward Globokar, owner of Tribecamex, will fork over the big bucks to his openly lesbian chef.
Beverly Hills-based Global Horizons, Inc., awaits a trial to determine damages that will go to Thai workers who toiled at Hawaiian plantations.
Here’s yet another reason to stop employees who sexually harass female co-workers, subordinates or customers: Men who work in that environment but refuse to join in can also sue for sexual harassment. It’s not just the harassed women who have claims.
The Goodhue County Board has dismissed sexual harassment complaints against three county employees, finding the charges unsubstantiated. A female employee of the county Veterans Services Office complained that her new boss created a “hostile work environment” for her and that county officials “retaliated” against her after she filed her complaint.
A long-time security guard in the Philadelphia School District has filed a religious discrimination suit following the district’s decision to change its grooming policy. The new policy says male employees’ beards can be no longer than a quarter of an inch.
A long-running legal battle between a former women’s golf coach and the University of Minnesota has taken another turn. According to the golf coach’s attorney, problems began when the head of the university’s golf program found out that the new women’s coach was gay.
Mankato-based Baywood Home Care faces a charge that it discriminated against a home health care aide who has fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. The EEOC has filed suit against the company, alleging it relied on stereotypes of disabled persons when it decided to fire the woman.

While HR professionals certainly should strive to create a respectful, courteous and pleasant workplace, don’t worry too much if you fall short. The fact is, supervisors sometimes play favorites and exhibit questionable judgment.