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.

WRS Compass will pay $2.75 million to settle an EEOC racial discrimination and association lawsuit filed on behalf of workers at the environmental cleanup company’s facility in Lake Calumet.
An employee’s casual remark to HR can lay the groundwork for a retaliation claim if the comment could be interpreted as objecting to some form of discrimination. That’s good reason to train HR staff to report all comments and consider them as protected activity.

Smart employers don’t leave it up to a direct supervisor to manage ADA reasonable accommodation. Instead, they work out a system that requires HR’s oversight. Otherwise, a boss with a grudge could set up a disabled employee to fail—and set the table for a costly ADA lawsuit.

If you are a public employer committed to discouraging sexual har­­assment, make sure your supervisory training covers the topic. In particular, ensure that supervisors know they aren’t immune from liability if they harass a subordinate.
The EEOC is increasingly investigating claims of discrimination by visiting employer workplaces, rather than conducting investigations via the phone and mail, according to attorney Neshesba Kittling. The EEOC’s goal: expand investigations of single charges into companywide class actions.
No matter which way the Court rules in Vance v. Ball State, it will have a major impact on Title VII litigation. The floodgates could spring open, inviting more employee lawsuits. But a decision in Ball State’s favor would be a huge win for employers.

Do you have an employee who just doesn’t seem capable of doing his job? If you document the shortcomings, you can create a special test designed to measure improvement. Just be sure to provide appropriate training materials as part of your effort.

Sometimes, customers or clients make inappropriate remarks. How managers respond to those comments is important. Put on the spot, they may be at a loss for words. That may not be ideal, but it isn’t enough to create liability for the employer.

A former graphic designer for Corporate Graphics Commercial is suing the Mankato company, claiming he was fired for reporting anti-gay harassment by co-workers.
A bill before the Ohio Senate could thoroughly revamp how employees file complaints about workplace discrimination and harassment—and greatly benefit employers that have robust anti-discrimination and harassment policies and practices.