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.

Reasonable employers always fare better in court than unreasonable ones. That’s one reason to keep care­­ful disciplinary records showing every­thing you did to help an employee perform well despite obvious problems. If he’s ultimately terminated, the court probably won’t second-guess the decision.

It’s usually enough for an employee to file a complaint with the EEOC, which is supposed to forward the case to the appropriate North Carolina state agency. But what happens if the EEOC never forwards the complaint?
Michael Brodkorb, the once-powerful Minnesota Senate staffer fired following allegations he had a sexual affair with former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, has filed a sex discrimination complaint with the EEOC. So far, the state Senate has racked up $46,000 in legal bills contesting Brodkorb’s suit.
Unless you’re willing to risk losing an ADA reasonable accommodations lawsuit, don’t wait to define the essential functions of your employees’ jobs.
Ohio employees filed 313 fewer EEOC discrimination charges last year than in 2010, according to data the commission just released.

HR professionals can’t be everywhere at once, making sure no boss ever harasses a subordinate. It will happen, even in the best, most progressive organizations. Protect against such nonsense with a robust anti-harassment policy and a commitment to promptly investigate harassment allegations.

If you don’t regularly post your job openings and promotion opportunities, you are asking for trouble. Here’s why: Applicants and employees can sue if they believe they missed out on an opportunity—even if they never applied. That litigation blindside may force you to justify your hiring and promotion decisions long after you made them. And if you didn’t keep careful records, you may be in trouble.

Minnesotans filed 46 more discrimination complaints with the EEOC in fiscal year 2011 than they did in 2010. The 1,204 complaints represented 1.2% of all EEOC charges filed in 2011.
According to a recent 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals decision, what one woman considers an innocent brush may be construed by the other woman as intentional same-sex harassment—and juries are best equipped to sort out who is right.
Offering disability benefits to an employee doesn’t prevent an em­­ployer from later contending that the employee is not actually disabled.