Make this your New Year’s resolution: Go through your employee handbook to make sure all the information is accurate and up-to-date, reflects how your organization really does business and fully complies with the law. It’s important to regularly review and revise employee handbooks because having an out-of-date handbook may be more dangerous than not having one at all.
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The EEOC projects the number of private-sector charges to exceed 100,000 by the end of fiscal year 2010. The increase is due in part to the additional statutory authority it gained with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA). Given this trend, employers should review their ADA and medical policies to ensure they are in compliance with the ADAAA.
Will a court acknowledge a company “policy” that doesn’t exist on paper? One court recently did—even though the policy wasn’t written anywhere—because the policy was being followed by all managers. Still, when in doubt, it’s best to write it out.
While employee handbooks are not required by law, they can prove essential — especially for small business owners that can't afford to lose a harassment or discrimination lawsuit. The employee handbook has become an essential tool in the employer’s arsenal to defend against liability for employment decisions.
Uniform supplier Cintas will pay $152,000 to workers at its Conshohocken facility after agreeing to settle an EEOC race and sexual harassment suit. The suit stemmed from a supervisor’s sexual and racial harassment of black workers in Cintas’ fire-protection division.
Sometimes, managers and supervisors just want their employees to get along and get their work done. When they hear someone complaining about sexual or other harassment, they may be tempted to blow it off as a distraction and just ignore it or tell the co-workers involved to stop it. That’s not good enough.
Can an employee you never fired sue you for a discriminatory termination? Oddly enough, yes. Under some circumstances, an employee can quit and claim she was “constructively discharged.” To do so, she has to show conditions at work were intolerable. And now a federal court has concluded that cutting someone’s pay can be an intolerable condition.
Retaliation is anything that would dissuade a reasonable employee from complaining about discrimination in the first place. That’s not to say every little negative thing that happens following a discrimination complaint is retaliation. Take, for example, a transfer to another position or shift.