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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A federal judge in Western Penn­­syl­­vania has chastised the EEOC for not attempting to conciliate discrimination charges in good faith. The criticism stems from a bias complaint the EEOC investigated against a group of six Ruby Tuesday restaurants.
Employers are supposed to reasonably accommodate an employee’s disability so he or she can perform the essential functions of the job. Some workers take that as a guarantee that—should they develop a disability—their employer must find a position the employee can do. That’s simply not the case.
Here’s an important tip to pass on to all supervisors: Never speculate on why an employee may be performing poorly. Focus on the work and leave the psychoanalysis to experts. That’s especially true when you think an employee’s work may be affected by pregnancy or pregnancy-related complications.
Employees are supposed to receive the same compensation for the same work regardless of sex. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pay some men more than some women, even if it’s crystal clear that they’re doing the exact same job. That’s because the Equal Pay Act allows for differences that can be accounted for by any factor other than sex.
Here’s some good news: An employee’s interpretation of a manager’s facial expressions isn’t enough for a successful lawsuit. A smirk isn’t evidence.
Employees who go to HR or the EEOC with a discrimination complaint engage in what’s called protected activity. Even if their claims don’t pan out, they can’t be punished for complaining in the first place. That’s retaliation and can form the basis of a lawsuit on its own, even if there was no underlying discrimination.
Q. Our company has been having financial difficulties and we have considered reorganizing for several months. Our chief operating officer has been charged with determining whether any of the current jobs can be eliminated. Recently, before any final reorganization decisions were made, an employee came forward claiming that the COO had been harassing her and had created a hostile work environment ...
A hearing-impaired Los Angeles man is suing the Bed Bath & Beyond retail chain, complaining that it fails to provide captions or transcripts for the promotional videos that play in the aisles of its stores.
If an employee chooses to return to work in a hostile environment, that makes it much harder to successfully sue for harassment.
Occasionally, we all have to deal with overly emotional ­employees. Handling them requires a mature and measured response, especially if it looks like you may have to discipline them.
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