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.
An 80-year-old secretary who had held her position at St. Joseph’s Elementary School in York was terminated after months of what she claims was harassment aimed at driving her out of her job.
While a real adverse employment action may trigger a retaliation claim, many minor changes aren’t truly adverse. For example, moving an employee to a different office without changing anything substantial about his job probably isn’t retaliation.
It’s illegal to retaliate against employees for complaining about sex discrimination or harassment. The employee’s initial complaint doesn’t have to pan out, either. It’s enough that the employee reasonably believed in good faith that she was being discriminated against.
Think ignoring complaints about sexually explicit talk, jokes or inappropriate touching will make the problems go away? Wrong! Chances are the behavior will only escalate.
Employers that don’t do enough to combat sexual harassment in the workplace face liability under Title VII. But it doesn’t follow that harassed employees can also sue under state law for negligent supervision. Employees have to be satisfied with the remedies under Title VII and can’t go for a larger jury award under state common law.
The former manager of the Milk Shake Factory ice cream parlor in Pittsburgh has filed a complaint alleging she was fired for disobeying the company’s discriminatory hiring guidelines. When she was hired to manage the store, the company gave her complete autonomy to hire subordinates as long as they were the “All-American girl” type.
You may think that what your employees do on their own time—at work or socially—is their business. That could be a big mistake. Your company culture may end up as evidence in a race discrimination lawsuit someday soon unless you do something about institutional and social segregation.
Four former servers at Woodland Hills’ Cables Restaurant will split a $5.7 million jury award. The servers who range in age from 49 to 70 claimed new management cleaned house in 2010 and replaced the workers with women in their 20s.
North Dakota-based Strad Oilfield Services will pay $65,000 in damages to resolve a disability discrimination charge filed with the EEOC.
While you may think it isn’t necessary because it seems so obvious, you must warn supervisors that making fun of any impairment is asking for trouble. Remind them that they must focus on performance when criticizing work, even if they believe that an impairment is affecting performance.