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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The state’s troubled mental health system is reeling from high-level departures and revelations that psychiatrists were investigating one another without the knowledge of the agency’s chief executive.

Some employers worry that hiring a disabled employee increases the chances they will be sued for disability discrimination. Don’t worry needlessly. The fact that you knew the employee was disabled actually helps later if he sues for discrimination.

Tell super­­visors and managers to look out for co-worker antagonism. Avoid the appearance of retaliation by making sure bosses enforce all rules equally and fairly.
Employers don’t have to put up with angry and abusive em­­ployees who try to make life miserable for others. That’s true even if the employee is disabled and has taken FMLA and other leave to deal with mental problems or medical conditions that may be contributing to poor behavior.
File this one under "ironic." Solano County (Calif.) disability services provider Pace Solano agreed to pay $130,000 to a job candidate who disclosed a partial paralysis in her hand during a pre-employment physical exam.
Employees who complain about discrimination are protected from retaliation. But their complaints have to be specific, at least mentioning why they suspect discrimination. Other­­wise, they aren’t engaged in protected activity and can’t allege retaliation.
Denying a request to work from home is just an inconvenience for an em­­ployee. It’s not grounds for a law­­suit since it’s not an adverse employment action, doesn’t create a hostile work environment or justify quitting.

Some jobs are inherently more stressful than others and some positions require careful supervision. Employees with such jobs may feel anxious and under constant scrutiny. That can be an unexpected benefit should an employee claim some form of harassment based on sex, race, disability or other protected membership.

Supervisors don’t always manage to divide the workload evenly among employees. As long as the labor division isn’t obviously intended to demean a particular individual based on his or her protected status, workload assignments are within the purview of management and not something that will support a discrimination lawsuit.
Merely informing an older worker that he or she may be eligible for retirement benefits while discussing a layoff isn’t evidence of age discrimination.