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.
You’re almost guaranteed a messy lawsuit if you ignore an employee’s complaint that a supervisor used a racial epithet. Courts have ruled that even a single use of the N-word can be enough to create a racially hostile work environment when the speaker is a supervisor.
The Glenview-based Family Video chain has agreed to settle a disability discrimination suit filed by a former employee of a store in New York who suffers from depression and social anxiety disorder.
Except in very limited circumstances, an individual must actually apply for a position before he can challenge the decision to hire someone else.
In a recent case, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to extend protected status to an investigator who wanted her company to go further than it was willing to after it discovered sexual harassment.
Hobson Air Conditioning, a Weatherford contractor, has agreed to pay $37,500 to settle charges that a manager created a sexually hostile work environment.
Sometimes, all it takes to stop sexual harassment (or behavior that could escalate to harassment) is to tell the individual to cut it out. But you’ll never know if it worked unless you follow up. You should periodically check back with those affected and note their response in your files.
Some employees think that throwing around a few unfounded allegations makes them whistle-blowers. They assume that by reporting what they think is illegal activity, they gain job protection. That’s not always true. If the alleged misconduct isn’t reported in good faith, there’s no protection.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to prevent retaliation lawsuits is to follow up with the employee who complained. Remind her that you won’t tolerate retaliation, and be sure to check back at least once following the investigation.
Employers sometimes assume that because a case is in arbitration, they don’t have to take the case as seriously as they would during courtroom proceedings. That can be a big mistake.
Not all discrimination cases are created equal. For example, race discrimination is prohibited by two laws: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and a much older statute called Section 1981. Enacted following the Civil War, Section 1981 bans discrimination based on race in contracting. It gives employees claiming race discrimination one more way to sue.