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.

If you suspect an employee has been stealing, you can and should discipline him. You don’t need absolute and irrefutable proof. It’s enough that you reasonably believed he stole.
Make sure managers and supervisors understand that belittling name-calling has no place in the workplace and won’t be tolerated. Bans on obscenity aren’t enough. You must also stop other sexist terms, such as referring to a woman as “Barbie.”

When managers witness or hear about a possible sexual harassment situation at work, it’s important for them to take the situation seriously. It’s vital for managers to contact the appropriate company officials in any potential harassment situations. Don’t be swayed by these common excuses you’ll hear from employees.

Q. We need to cut costs, and have started to explore trimming our staff, starting with those who earn far more than other employees. Are there any dangers in doing so? Can we legally fire a high-earner because of his salary?

A Western Pennsylvania cardiology practice has agreed to settle EEOC sexual harassment charges alleging that its doctors routinely made sexually offensive and debasing comments to women who worked there.

When HR receives a complaint about sexual or some other form of harassment, immediately put your investigation machinery in motion. Start gathering information before you even meet with the complaining employee. That way, you can’t be accused of ignoring the problem ...

Having a good sexual harassment policy in place doesn’t mean much if your supervisors ignore it. Take, for example, someone who is what we might call “touchy feely.”
If you need an incentive to stop name-calling in the workplace, consider this: The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a jury award of $70,000 for a supervisor’s repeated and demeaning use of the word “bitch” when speaking to a subordinate.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has apparently concluded that some professionals are less articulate than others and deserve a pass when they make sexist comments.
Don’t allow racist talk. Even if not di­rected at an employee, it can have a profound effect on her.