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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Surprise! Some of your supervisors may be biased—something they would probably deny if confronted. If an employee complains that her boss is prejudiced, don’t just accept the manager’s protestations of innocence as the last word. Investigate instead.
The EEOC is suing ABM Security Services, which provides guards for the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, for religious discrimination after an employee claimed she was forced to choose between keeping her job and wearing her traditional Muslim head covering.
A supervisor for the Burke County De­­partment of Social Services claims she did not know that calling black people bigoted names would offend them—and might even lead to a federal lawsuit. The U.S. Department of Jus­­tice has set her straight on this score.
There are some words that should never come from a supervisor’s mouth—including any statement that would seem to encourage an employee to drop an EEOC complaint. That just about guarantees that a retaliation or interference lawsuit will go to trial should anything adverse (like a discharge or demotion) happen to the employee to whom the supervisor was speaking.
Pittsburgh-based steel-industry supplier Magnetics International will pay $30,000 to settle a religious discrimination suit filed by an employee in Indiana who claimed the company failed to accommodate his need to worship regularly.
Employees who complain can be annoying, especially if you believe their gripes don’t have merit. But firing such an employee can be dangerous because complaining about discrimination or other legal issues is protected activity that can’t be punished.
In a faltering economy, superior customer service is more important than ever. Companies are doing whatever it takes to please their customers. However, this should not include looking the other way when a customer harasses an employee.
Q. We have several 16-year-old girls working as servers in our restaurant. One worker’s mother told us about alleged harassment. Can we rely on our training for our defense?
An Asian couple is suing the owner of a Queens Hooters restaurant after they discovered the word “Chinx” printed in the customer ID field of their take-out receipt.
Not every employee is cut out for management. Someone who was a true asset as a skilled worker may be a bust after being promoted. If that happens in your organization, exercise patience before terminating.
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