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.
Chances are, you have a sexual harassment policy that gives employees several ways to report harassment—maybe including a hotline for phoning in problems. But beware: An employee may file an EEOC complaint before you even have a chance to investigate alleged harassment. If that happens, your hotline records may play a crucial role in your defense.
If you want a termination decision to stand up in court, make sure you carefully document all discipline that occurred before the firing—and do so at the time the discipline occurs. Otherwise, chances are a court or jury may assume the earlier incidents didn’t happen.
Butterball, the Garner-based turkey processor, faces EEOC disability discrimination charges after it allegedly tolerated harassment against an HIV-positive employee and then fired her after she complained.
When you terminate an employee for a good, obvious and well-documented reason, you seldom have to worry about a surprise harassment complaint. Former employees file them fairly frequently, but courts tend to view them with suspicion. The obvious question: Why didn’t the employee complain about harassment before?
Some employees never forget an indignity. Years later, they may sue over something unrelated to the original wrong and try to bring the old offense into the case. That sometimes works if their claim alleges a hostile work environment. But if the hostility stopped years ago, chances are the court won’t consider the old claim.
An Ohio Panera Bread franchisee faces an additional lawsuit charging racial discrimination in the wake of a manager’s suit that claims he was fired for refusing to follow a racist directive.
Sears, Roebuck & Co. has settled an age, race and gender discrimination complaint filed by a former employee in Oklahoma City.
A recent state appellate court decision offers clarification about how employers can handle an employee’s false or exaggerated sexual harassment complaints.
Employers that punish some employees more leniently than others for breaking the same rule are asking for trouble. That’s especially true when a lesser offense seems to have warranted especially harsh punishment.
Q. One of our employees has just filed an internal complaint claiming that she has been sexually harassed. We are concerned that if we discipline the alleged harasser based on our findings and note this incident in his personnel file, he may demand to inspect our investigation records. May we avoid this by maintaining a separate investigation file?