Employers have the right to expect everyone to behave appropriately at work. That includes employees with mental disabilities who may have trouble with communication and perception. What that means: You are free to punish inappropriate behavior regardless of its cause.
Employers know they are supposed to provide their employees with information about how to handle discrimination or harassment. Most employers put up a poster on a break room bulletin board to outline the process. This simple practice can prove invaluable when an employee tries to use ignorance as an excuse for not complaining right away.
Minneapolis-based retail giant Target will pay $160,000 to settle a disability discrimination suit at one of its California stores. The EEOC filed the suit on behalf of Jeremy Schott, who suffers from cerebral palsy.
Marshall-based frozen food giant Schwan’s attempt to quash an EEOC subpoena was stopped cold when the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the company must hand over a list of 600 Schwan’s general managers, their genders and dates of hire. The EEOC demanded the documents in connection with a sex discrimination case filed by a former employee.
Employers have a right to expect employees to follow the work rules laid out for them. Employees who are terminated for breaking those rules won’t be eligible for unemployment compensation because it was their fault they were discharged.
Some employees need FMLA leave to cope with work stress. But that doesn’t mean that employers can’t punish someone who makes threats.
Fortunately for employers, courts measure a hostile work environment against the “reasonable employee” standard. If a reasonable employee would not find the conduct hostile, then it doesn’t matter how intensely a particular employee reacts to allegedly hostile acts. The idea behind the standard is to protect employers from exaggerated claims, especially when it is clear the employer took the allegations seriously and moved to prevent further problems.
Watch out if a supervisor starts keeping extra-close tabs on an employee’s work in the wake of declining productivity or a poor review. You must make sure all employees in a similar situation get the same close attention.
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to expand the ways in which employees who are passed over for promotions can sue. It turned down a request to allow a lawsuit alleging that previously denied promotions could be considered as evidence of bias in later promotion denials.
Employers that develop clear, fair and transparent hiring processes seldom have to worry about losing a failure-to-hire lawsuit. That’s true even if they end up using so-called subjective reasons for not hiring a candidate. Simply put, judges are impressed when it looks like a potential employer bends over backward to ensure it doesn’t discriminate.