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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.

The DOL's Office of Disability Employment Policy commissioned a study to explore barriers to employing the disabled and guidance for employers in hiring and managing disabled em­­ployees. The study urges employers to follow these strategies to avoid age discrimination complaints:

When the EEOC declared it was starting an enforcement effort aimed at protecting Hispanic ­workers from harassment and discrimination, smart employers promptly looked at their organ­­izations and corrected any problems. Those that didn’t are now paying the price.

Citing the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Oncale v. Sun­­downer, the EEOC has now stated that it believes Title VII prohibits workplace discrimination against transgender people—those whose gender identity or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth.

Under the Uniformed Services Em­­ployment and Reemployment Rights Act, employees called to active military service are entitled to return to their jobs. That’s not true of independent contractors. But they must really be independent contractors.

In a case likely to be controversial, a federal court has allowed a bisexual/gay teacher to sue his principal for alleged sexual orientation discrimination. The teacher brought the claim under the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution.
If you have an internal training program designed to help em­­ployees advance their careers, make sure that it doesn’t unintentionally spur sex or other discrimination lawsuits.
A federal court considering the question for the first time has concluded that workers over a certain age can challenge the disparate impact a reduction in force may have on that age group.
A good attorney will urge a discharged employee to try to remember any problems she had at work. Any perceived unfairness then becomes part of the employee’s lawsuit. The more grievances, the more likely that at least some of the complaints will make it to court, even if other claims are tossed out. That’s one more reason to deal immediately with workplace problems that crop up ...
Employers that keep detailed disciplinary records showing exactly why an employee was disciplined are much more likely to win lawsuits. That makes it harder for an employee to argue he was singled out for unfair, discriminatory punishment.
Employees sometimes don’t agree with the way their union resolves complaints. But that doesn’t mean they can sue the union under the Cali­­for­­nia Fair Employment and Hous­­ing Act. They must use federal law as the basis for their lawsuits.