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.

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.
The Texas Supreme Court has just made it much easier for employers to avoid age discrimination claims. In what the court calls a “true replacement case” under the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, an older worker must show that she was replaced by a younger worker.
Smart employers have policies that require supervisors to document all discipline. That documentation can come in handy if a discharged employee decides to sue. The fact is, employers usually win lawsuits if they show they had a legitimate reason for an employment decision.
Here’s a cautionary tale for super­­visors who have a learning-disabled subordinate. Do all you can to accommodate the employee and don’t let co-workers—or anyone in the workplace—make fun of disability traits.
The 7th Circuit has held that employees who participate in employer internal investigations before administrative charges or lawsuits have been filed are not protected from retaliation. It’s different, however, after such charges have been filed.
Some employees think that any unfair treatment is grounds for a lawsuit under either federal law or California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). Fortunately for em­­ployers, mundane workplace gripes aren’t enough to support a lawsuit.

Employees who complain to their employers about discrimination are usually protected from retaliation. But they must at least mention the sort of discrimination at issue. Simply protesting that an evaluation wasn’t fair won’t do the trick.

If you are contemplating changing your compensation structure to re­­flect today’s lean job market, do so carefully—especially if you suspect you may be overpaying some senior employees for the work they do.