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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.

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Some employees joke around by calling other workers “old man” or making other insensitive ageist comments. You should certainly discourage comments that diminish employees, customers or others based on their protected characteristics. However, a few isolated incidents won’t mean a lost lawsuit if you also make sure that you terminate employees only for legitimate business reasons.
A snarky reply to an employee’s email—plus alleged retaliation—has landed a Manhattan firm in legal hot water.
The EEOC has filed suit against NFI Roadrail and NFI Industries as a result of a pay disparity at its Irving facility. According to the complaint, the company pays men significantly more than women who perform the same work.
Here’s an important reminder that employers aren’t responsible for pre­­venting every ugly workplace incident. Just because someone vandalizes an employee’s property doesn’t mean you will be liable for creating a hostile work environment.
Was demography or economic distress to blame for the sudden jump in age discrimination charges between 2006 and 2008?
You may think that time is on your side after you tackled hostility in the workplace. But that isn’t always the case. For example, firing an employee who had to work in a hostile work environment for years may still mean liability, even if you recently cleaned up the workplace.
When nasty racial words are tossed around in a workplace, you may think the target of those words is the only person who can sue for racial harassment. Not true. It’s not necessary for someone to have protected status to complain about harassment or discrimination.

Sometimes, the most sensible solution to an ongoing em­­ployee complaint is to transfer the em­­ployee. But some employees may see that as retaliation, especially if the “fresh start” turns out to be a false one. Such a retaliation claim is unlikely to succeed as long as there was no change in title, major job responsibilities, pay and benefits.

Here’s some good, sensible news. If you hire a consulting firm and that company works on site, you won’t be liable for harassment between consulting firm employees.
The EEOC’s Raleigh office has signed a Memorandum of Under­­stand­­ing with the Mexican Consulate in Raleigh, agreeing to continue “an ongoing collaborative relationship between these two entities to provide Mexi­­can nationals with information, guidance, and access to resources on the prevention of discrimination in the workplace.”
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