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.

Some employees believe that any sexual comment equals sexual harassment. That’s not true, especially when it involves so-called same-sex harassment. While you shouldn’t ignore such conduct for morale and productivity reasons, rest assured that it generally won’t make your organization liable for a big jury award.
A discrimination lawsuit compares what happened to the complaining employee with what happened to others outside his protected class. Details matter. For example, an isolated instance of rude behavior is one thing, but constant rudeness is something else entirely. It can justify different, more severe punishment.
The U.S. Department of Justice is suing the Texas Department of Agriculture and the Texas General Land Office for alleged pay discrimination at the now-defunct Texas Department of Rural Affairs.
A court has decided employees can sue employers for national-origin discrimination based on an unexpected characteristic: the employee’s tribal affiliation. National-origin discrimination lawsuits are usually based on being from a particular country, but belonging to a specific tribe can count, too.
When track coach and teacher Alvin Jackson was hired in September 2010, he became Frisco High School’s only black coach and core-subject teacher. Now he is suing the Frisco Independent School District, alleging that his contract wasn’t renewed this year because of race discrimination.

Employees typically have just 300 days to file EEOC and state discrimination complaints. Otherwise, their lawsuits will be tossed out. But it’s the employer’s burden to prove the complaint was filed too late—not the employee’s burden to prove he filed on time.

Between 2005 and 2011, the Corpus Christi Police Department hired 113 male entry-level police officers—and just 12 women. The U.S. De­­part­­ment of Justice thinks it knows the reason for the disparity: a physical ability test that most men can pass but few women can.
SunTrust faces a federal sexual harassment lawsuit after three women who worked at the bank’s Sarasota Gulf Gate branch accused a manager of inappropriate touching and making lewd and unwelcome comments about their anatomy, sex lives and dating habits.
No one tolerates the usual racial and ethnic slurs. But what about novel phrases that aren’t in the common lexicon? Can those be the basis for a racially hostile work environment claim?
Employees undergoing normal pregnancies don’t have an ADA claim.