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.

A former Lufkin Industries employee is suing the oil field equipment manufacturer, alleging he was fired for complaining about racial discrimination.
For employers, the best way to win discrimination lawsuits is consistency. When you enforce a workplace rule, do so for everyone who violates that rule—every time. That makes it difficult for an employee to cry discrimination over a discipline dispute.
The ADA protects employees with mental health problems from discrimination. That makes it dangerous for managers to engage in armchair psychology.
Everyone who is qualified should have a chance to participate in your training programs.
Three employees of Midland-based crude oil producer Blue Ridge Resources have agreed to settle a national-origin harassment lawsuit against the company. Blue Ridge will pay the three men $43,000 for failing to train their supervisor and investigate the men’s complaints.
A former employee at AT&T’s Houston facility has filed a racial discrimination complaint against the telecommunications giant, claiming he was fired by a boss who was motivated by racial bias.

If the EEOC takes too long to investigate a case and initiate a lawsuit, a court may toss it out. Although technically the EEOC has unlimited time to sue, as a ­practical matter employers can get cases dismissed if they can show undue delay and that the delay hurt their ability to come up with a defense.

There are some things supervisors just shouldn’t say even in jest—including anything concerning race, national origin or any other protected characteristic. Comments on those topics regularly come back to haunt employers when employees file discrimination lawsuits.
Before federal employees can file a discrimination complaint, they must first talk to their agency’s EEO officer and formally complain within 45 days. There’s no excuse for not following that rule, as long as training materials address the requirement and bulletin boards include the notice.
The management team behind what’s left of Lenoir-based Caldwell Freight Lines just learned a harsh lesson: The EEOC will come after you even if you are no longer in business.