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.
After an employee files an EEOC or internal discrimination complaint, it’s natural for him to worry about retaliation. Every move by a supervisor or HR will be filtered through that lens. You need to be on guard against retaliation, too.
These days, employees are getting braver about discussing their pay. Part of the reason is that the National Labor Relations Board has done a good job publicizing its stance that discussing pay is concerted activity protected by law. Be prepared for the inevitable lawsuits with solid reasons for all pay decisions.
Ten years of litigation has finally come to an end now that a federal appeals court has tossed the last claims of an employee who acted as her own lawyer.
The Minneapolis NAACP has leveled charges of discrimination against the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board. The group claims board practices are biased against minority employees and city residents.
When courts find that an employee has been discriminated against, they often order the employer to end the practice or policy that was the basis for the lawsuit. But when the employee voluntarily quits before the case is over, that remedy isn’t available.
Handle serial complainers as you do one-time complainers. Investigate the claims, fixing legitimate gripes and rejecting all the rest. If the chronic complainer sues, chances are the court will realize that you’ve been dealing with someone who is habitually crabby.
Criminal defendants are entitled to a public defender, but that’s not true for employees trying to sue for discrimination. Courts won’t often pay for legal assistance if the employee can do the work herself.
When an employer doesn’t have a set policy on whether an employee can change his mind about retiring, refusing to rescind a retirement request isn’t enough to support a discrimination or retaliation lawsuit.
Under the ADA, employees who claim to be disabled must show that their condition substantially impairs a major life function. Minnesota has its own version of the law. It requires that employees show their condition materially impairs a major life function. That’s a lower standard, but still a tough one for employees to prove.
Courts don’t want to second-guess every employment decision. They leave it up to employers to determine, for example, whether one rule violation is more serious than another. As the following case shows, employers are free to terminate employees who won’t listen.