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.

You don’t have to accept any more applications after you have considered enough candidates to make a hiring decision—even if your sys­­tem still shows the position is open.
Employees who complain about alleged discrimination are protected from punishment under the so-called opposition clause of Title VII. Not every vague allegation, however, amounts to opposition.
It may seem obvious, but that doesn’t mean your managers and supervisors understand it: It’s dumb to make sexist comments. A single sexist remark can mean years of ex­­pensive litigation. The employer may eventually win in court—but not before incurring crippling costs of lost time, money and productivity.
A supervisor can’t successfully sue for discrimination merely because management fails to back up his decision to discipline a subordinate. The supervisor must prove that management didn’t support his decision because of his membership in a protected class.
The New Hanover Regional Medi­­cal Center in Wilmington will pay $146,000 to a class of applicants and employees because the hospital erroneously regarded them as disabled.

Want to prove that you hired the best applicant and selected the right individuals to interview? Keep all the résumés you received for the position. They may come in handy later if you are sued.

Juries like simple cases. If an em­­ployee complains about discrimination and management does nothing, that’s one thing. But if suddenly the employee is criticized, placed on a performance improvement plan and then fired, jurors may see retaliation.

Have you ever faced an applicant who applies for every open position just because it’s easy to do—and then complains that she wasn’t chosen for any of them? A federal court made quick work of dismissing a lawsuit from one such applicant when it was clear she was overreaching.
A former manager of a Bank of America branch in New York is suing, claiming the bank has a discriminatory policy of placing black managers only in predominantly poor, black neighborhoods.
Food wholesaler Nash Finch has settled complaints it discriminated against women at its Lumberton facility. Based in Minnesota, Nash Finch is the nation’s second largest food wholesaler and has received $14 million in federal contract payments since 2005.