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.

Here’s an important reminder that it takes just one Nean­der­thal boss to launch a lawsuit: Treat­­ing working mothers differently than working fathers is sex discrimination. Never turn a blind eye if you hear a super­visor is doing just that.

Some sexual harassment complaints don’t pan out. If, after investigating, you conclude that no harassment took place, the employee who complained may not be satisfied. How should you handle her? Your best bet is to address her concerns about having to work around the alleged harasser.

Here’s an important factor when considering discharge: Dis­­crimi­­nation complaints made years ago can form the basis for a lawsuit if the underlying events show a pattern of discrimination.
If someone was terminated for breaking workplace rules, he may claim you treated others outside his protected classification more favorably. The best way to counter such charges is with very specific records showing why you believe each punishment fit the rule violation.

For an employee to win a dis­crimination lawsuit, he has to show that he was qualified for the job he held. Some employers assume that if they disciplined the employee for poor performance, that proves he wasn’t qualified. But a court might not see it that way if you trained and tested him before putting him to work.

The California Supreme Court has issued a long-awaited decision on whether the “mixed-motive” de­­fense applies to employment discrimination claims under the California Fair Em­­ployment and Housing Act (FEHA).
When terminated through a reduction in force or for some other legitimate reason, overly sensitive employees may take a shot at filing a lawsuit over perceived slights, alleging they had been forced to work in a hostile work environment. Fortunately, it usually takes more than that to win.
A black General Electric employee has sued the multinational conglomerate for $50 million, alleging she was the victim of race and sex discrimination while working for GE Electric in Schenectady.
Countless employees juggle both work and caregiving responsibilities, which may extend beyond caring for children to caring for parents or other elderly family members or relatives with disabilities. Here are some of the most common stereotypes associated with employees with caregiving responsibilities, as well as the illegal employment actions in which they can manifest.
WirelessCom, a small San Jose re­­seller of phone services, will pay $97,000 to settle a sexual harassment complaint filed by a then-19-year-old employee.