Strategic human resource management is the end product of success in conduction workplace investigations, vendor management, human capital management, and more.
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Employers may suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune from time to time. But when knives fly at work, supervisors better know the relevant company policies. Consider the case of an employee at the North Carolina Department of Transportation who was apparently the workplace prankster.
Your organization probably has policies prohibiting sexual harassment, and you probably offer training for supervisors and employees alike on how the policy works. But that simply isn’t enough. You should have multiple ways for employees to report sexual harassment. The more ways you provide, the more likely a court will conclude that an employee who failed to report the harassment was acting unreasonably.
Here’s a cautionary tale that offers an inevitable lesson: When a supervisor’s harassment spills out into the greater workplace, the claims will grow exponentially.
Does your organization’s hiring process rely heavily on how applicants handle themselves during job interviews? If so, be aware that courts are often suspicious of such inherently subjective decision-making. If an applicant who belongs to a protected class can demonstrate qualifications that were at least as good or better than those of the chosen candidate from a different class, a court may conclude that interview performance was a smokescreen for discrimination.
The ADA requires employers to maintain strict confidentiality on any medical- or disability-related information. That means keeping it in a separate, secure file, away from prying eyes that have no business viewing the information. But confidentiality doesn’t apply just to paper or electronic records. Employers also have to make sure they don’t discuss such information with those who don’t need to know.
HR professionals often worry needlessly when they hear that a supervisor has made an intemperate or insensitive remark. Fortunately, such comments seldom become the basis of successful lawsuits unless they are truly offensive or outrageous.
Minnesota employees who believe an employer has discriminated against them based on age or another protected classification can file complaints with both the federal EEOC and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. Employees have 90 days to file a lawsuit after the EEOC dismisses their case, but just 45 days to do so after the MDHR does.