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.

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has approved new grounds for discrimination lawsuits. It recently ruled that employees who file discrimination complaints can sue for retaliation if their employers punish them with a hostile work environment.

Here’s a warning to employers that use a progressive disciplinary system: Follow it—for everyone. Cutting the process short except for good, solid reasons is asking for trouble. Performance improvement plans are a good example.

Foothill Ranch-based fashion retailer Wet Seal faces a class-action lawsuit from black current and former employees who allege an internal email complained that the company had too many black workers.
Texas employees are doing more than their share to keep the EEOC busy, filing more discrimination charges per capita than the national average.
Mokena-based United Road Towing will pay $380,000 to settle charges it discriminated against employees by terminating them at the end of their medical leaves rather than exploring possible accommodations.

Simply comparing the average age of workers before and after a RIF can make it look like age bias played a part in deciding who kept or lost their jobs. Laid-off employees’ attorneys routinely do that math. But employers can beat such statistical arguments by showing that their decision-making processes weren’t based on age, but on other legitimate business reasons.

The manager of a Sarasota-area OfficeMax made life so miserable for an employee who filed a racial discrimination claim that he was forced to resign, according to the EEOC. Now it’s suing on the man’s behalf.
Even an employee who was terminated for good reasons can win a discrimination lawsuit if she can show that someone outside her protected class wasn’t fired for the same transgression. That’s why you must track all discipline.

When an employee complains she is being harassed, that’s protected activity that cannot be punished. Like­­wise, complaining that a co-worker is being harassed is protected activity. But it’s not protected activity if an employee complains that someone not connected with the employer is being harassed.

For the second time in three years, YRC/Yellow Transportation will pay a huge settlement resulting from racial harassment and discrimination at a Chicagoland facility.