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.
Public employees don’t lose all privacy rights just because they work for the government. But that privacy is subject to limitations.
The fastest growing category of discrimination complaints is retaliation. The reason is simple: They are easier to win than underlying discrimination cases. All an employee has to prove is that his employer punished him in a way that would dissuade a reasonable employee from complaining in the first place. Be prepared.
Some forms of racial intimidation are so offensive that even one incident may be enough to create liability, unlessthe employer acts fast. Racially hostile graffiti is one example. If you don’t take steps to cover it and prevent recurrence, even one offensive tag can mean liability.
If you receive an anonymous complaint about a hostile workplace, launch an investigation right away. That way, if an employee later sues, you can easily compare what he said to the investigator with what he remembers now.
There’s a fine line between horsing around and true sexual harassment. But if you ignore that line—or guess wrong about whether a supervisor has crossed the line—you may find yourself at the mercy of a jury.
The city of Greensboro is considering an offer to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by longtime athletic director Jean Jackson. Jackson, who is black, claims the city regularly promotes white employees to management jobs without openly advertising the positions.
Employees have to prove two things when they allege they had to work in a sexually hostile environment. They have to persuade the court that, objectively, the environment was toxic. They also have to show that subjectively they felt harassed. Smart employers can attack the second claim ...
If you get sued for retaliation by an employee who has previously filed a sexual harassment complaint, a jury will probably be suspicious of any discipline she received after complaining. Unless you can convincingly show the discipline you levied was deserved, a jury will have to decide if it was retaliation or legitimate punishment.
Does your computer system allow employees to write notes about customers? Do your employees think the customers will never see those notes? That’s a recipe for a disaster, as a California restaurant found out.
Employers can minimize retaliation complaints by having fair policies and procedures governing employee discipline. Even in cases of egregious behavior, a suspension while the employer sorts out the facts may be the best approach. Supervisor training is key to stemming national origin, disability and religious discrimination complaints.