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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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.

North Carolina’s employment and discrimination laws would appear to give em­­ployees many ways to sue their employers. Fortunately, each has specific requirements, which means employees who act as their own lawyers will have a hard time using them to sue you.

Sometimes, it becomes clear to a supervisor that an employee is acting strangely. The employee may be cranky, argumentative and unpleasant to co-workers and supervisors. He may register repeated complaints about discrimination or other ill treatment. And he may make threatening comments. If that happens, play it smart.

YS & J Enterprises Inc., operator of the Dairy Queen at the Hanes Mall in Winston-Salem, will pay $17,500 to a former employee who was fired after she complained about sexual harassment by a male co-worker.
U.S. employees filed 99,412 charges of job discrimination with the EEOC in fiscal year 2012, which ended Sept. 30. That’s just 535 fewer than were filed in 2011, when the commission handled the most bias complaints in its 47-year history.
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