• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

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.

HR professionals can’t be everywhere at once, making sure no boss ever harasses a subordinate. It will happen, even in the best, most progressive organizations. Protect against such nonsense with a robust anti-harassment policy and a commitment to promptly investigate harassment allegations.

If you don’t regularly post your job openings and promotion opportunities, you are asking for trouble. Here’s why: Applicants and employees can sue if they believe they missed out on an opportunity—even if they never applied. That litigation blindside may force you to justify your hiring and promotion decisions long after you made them. And if you didn’t keep careful records, you may be in trouble.

Minnesotans filed 46 more discrimination complaints with the EEOC in fiscal year 2011 than they did in 2010. The 1,204 complaints represented 1.2% of all EEOC charges filed in 2011.
According to a recent 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals decision, what one woman considers an innocent brush may be construed by the other woman as intentional same-sex harassment—and juries are best equipped to sort out who is right.
Offering disability benefits to an employee doesn’t prevent an em­­ployer from later contending that the employee is not actually disabled.
Pennsylvanians filed 4,302 EEOC discrimination and retaliation complaints in fiscal year 2011—406 fewer than in 2010 but still up sharply from the 3,448 complaints filed in 2009.
North Carolina employees are doing more than their share to keep the EEOC busy, filing more discrimination complaints per capita than the national average. Even so, North Carolina filings fell last year after spiking upward in 2010.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has taken on medical marijuana and the ADA, concluding that individuals who use marijuana, even if doing so legally under state law, aren’t ­protected from discrimination under the ADA. That means disciplining employees for using medical marijuana won’t violate the ADA.
In April, the EEOC issued a new Enforcement Guidance document on the use of criminal history information in making hiring and other employment decisions. In light of the guidance and the EEOC’s increased focus on discrimination in hiring, employers should review and update their criminal history screening policies and practices.

Do you ask applicants what year they graduated from high school or college (or otherwise finished their education)? Does your application re­­quest that information? Watch out!