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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.

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The EEOC has filed a lawsuit against a kitchen management company over allegations that a manager ignored HR directives and complaints from a female chef who tried to apply for an open position only to be told that professional kitchens were “a man’s world” where women are not welcome.

Remind supervisors to never mention pregnancy in conjunction with hiring or assignments.

The #MeToo and #TimesUp movements have done more than shine a light on sexual harassment in the workplace. They’ve also prompted employers to take a fresh look at gender-based pay disparities.

Sometimes, a supervisor and subordinate just don’t get along. While the subordinate may think the reason has something to do with a protected characteristic, that may not be the case. When you receive such a complaint, you obviously must investigate.

Do you train employees to treat all customers with respect, regardless of sexual orientation, transgender status and the like? If not, you may be unwittingly creating a hostile environment for some customers, which can mean a lawsuit.

Employers are required to make reasonable accommodations for a worker’s religious practices, including letting workers skip shifts for religious holidays. But it is up to the worker to actually request the accommodation. Missing a shift without asking can be grounds for discharge.

The EEOC handled 89,385 charges of workplace discrimination in fiscal year 2017, an 8% decline compared to the year before.

Here’s an important message for employers that may be considering rehiring someone who was fired after being accused of sexual harassment: There could be severe consequences, including, under Pennsylvania law, potential personal liability for the individual responsible for the rehiring decision.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D–N.Y.) has introduced legislation that would bar employers from including sexual harassment or gender discrimination claims in mandatory arbitration agreements. Identical legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives.

A panel of the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled for the first time that discrimination on the basis of transgender and transitioning status violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Employees who receive their EEOC right-to-sue letter have just 90 days to file a federal lawsuit. Advice: Note that deadline as soon as you receive your copy.

Employers that have actual knowledge that a hostile work environment exists can’t get off the hook by claiming a worker failed to use an established system for reporting harassment.

There’s aren’t many ways for an employer to defend against allegations that a supervisor sexually harassed a subordinate. But a careful investigation may uncover evidence that the relationship was wholly consensual, which may help.

Employers sometimes forget that in addition to offering reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities, they have a similar obligation to reasonably accommodate employees’ religious practices.

Employees who engage in so-called protected activity under Title VII cannot be retaliated against for doing so. But the definition of protected activity is narrow.

Workers whose obesity has physiological causes are protected from discrimination and harassment under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Super­­visors who discriminate against those workers may face liability.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to overturn a $150,000 jury verdict against a real estate developer. A female sales associate had filed the complaint after her employer transferred her to a less lucrative development, resulting in a significant pay cut.

One third of employees report that they don’t believe their employer’s sexual harassment policy is effective.

In a groundbreaking decision, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Title VII provision that prohibits sex discrimination also makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against gay employees.

Sometimes, you may want to use a last chance agreement to give a worker who violated your rules a second chance. Make sure supervisors know about it so they can be on the lookout for potential problems.

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