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Ever wonder what role employees who make sexual harassment claims have in fixing the problem? One court recently ruled they at least have to give their employer the opportunity to try to right the wrong ...

When an em­­ployee announces she is pregnant, the only appropriate re­sponse is “Con­grat­ulations!” Then give her the information she needs so she can take any leave to which she is entitled. Negative comments can be used to prove pregnancy discrimination, but neutral ones cannot.

Under limited circumstances, a job applicant might be able to win a discrimination lawsuit without actually applying for a job. For example, someone could conceivably prove that it would have been be futile to even bother filling out an application. Fortunately, such cases are rare.

If you need additional incentives to stop sexual harassment in the workplace, how’s this for a motivator: A court has ruled that employees who endure gender-related violence can now sue their employers for damages under the Illinois Gender Violence Act.

It takes just one or two disgruntled employees to start an FLSA class-action overtime lawsuit. Be prepared to fight such lawsuits early and vigorously. Your best bet: Classify employees correctly in the first place.

Here’s some good news for employers that take sexual harassment complaints seriously. In Sutherland v. Wal-Mart, the 7th Circuit emphasized that an employer’s prompt response to an employee’s complaint of sexual harassment may protect it from liability.  

This year is shaping up to be a tough one for organizations worried about employment law issues. So far, the U.S. Supreme Court has decided three big employment law cases—and every time, ruled in favor of employees. The latest expanded employer retaliation liability under the FLSA. But that’s not this year’s only press­ing wage-and-hour problem. Pay atten­tion to these other issues:

Good news for employers: The Court of Appeal of California has found that claims adjusters are exempt administrative employees not entitled to overtime. The court rejected the notion that all claims adjusters who work for insurance companies are nonexempt employees without regard to the work they actually perform.

3M Companies appears poised to settle a high-profile age discrimination suit. Earlier this year, the company filed a joint motion for preliminary ap­proval of a class-action settlement involving approximately 7,000 workers. If the Ramsey County District Court agrees, the employees (and their attorneys) will split $12 million.

It does no good to have a sexual har­assment policy if managers don’t know how to enforce it. Without regular manager training on how to respond to complaints, you might as well not have a policy.
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