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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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After a New York City bar tossed out a patron last year for wearing a red “Make America Great Again” cap, he sued claiming discrimination.
Note to large employers everywhere: If you’re going to cheat anyone out of the pay they deserve, don’t do it to lawyers.
Supervisors may harbor deep animosity towards a particular worker. But unless that animosity is based on a protected characteristic such as race, sex or age, it remains merely unfair, not a case of discrimination.
When an employee files an EEOC complaint or otherwise indicates that a lawsuit may be coming, it sometimes makes sense to settle out of court. If you decide to go that route, make careful notes on every step in the process.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 4 decision in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple was not a signal to employers that it is acceptable to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
California employers beware: The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a landmark Equal Pay Act decision that may require you to make immediate changes to how you set starting salaries.
The unveiling of New York’s 2019 budget made it clear that the state has maintained its focus on curbing sexual harassment in the workplace. The measures affect both private and public employers. Here are some of the highlights.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has made it official: Sometimes an employee just needs to grow a thicker skin to deal with the petty annoyances that vex many workplaces.
When a customer harasses an employee, the employer may be held liable for allowing a hostile work environment if it knew about the potential problem. However, the employee has a responsibility to report the incident.
Maurizio’s Trattoria Italiana, a fine-dining Italian restaurant in Encinitas, California, faces charges it discriminated against a waitress because of her pregnancy.
The nonprofit, famed for fielding a skillful cadre of dogged litigators, has just entered the employment law fray by filing a class-action lawsuit against AT&T.
It’s impossible to predict which employee will sue and why. That’s why you must carefully document every disciplinary action, including enough specific information to later justify those decisions.
When an employee sues his employer, alleging he was denied a promotion because of some form of discrimination, he must at least show that he applied for the promotion. Merely telling his supervisors that he’s interested in possible promotion opportunities isn’t enough when the employer has a formal application process in place.
Be careful how you react when an employee announces she is expecting. In the end, the employer won this pregnancy discrimination lawsuit, but defending against it cost huge legal fees and took up hundreds of hours.
Two recent EEOC lawsuits illustrate that the agency is serious about enforcing the Pregnancy Discrimination Act as interpreted in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 Young v. UPS decision.
It’s essential to respond promptly to every harassment complaint.
Bias plays a part in all discrimination, ranging from race relations to gender and disability stereotypes. Training on implicit or unconscious bias training—if poorly implemented—may backfire, leaving the workplace more divided than it was before.
Here’s an important warning for managers with the power to influence hiring decisions: Repeating stereotypes about applicants invites discrimination lawsuits, as a recent case shows.
It’s true your organization may not be liable for co-worker harassment if the harassed employee knew how to report harassment but failed to use the system. However, there can still be consequences if a supervisor retaliates against an employee who complained or threatened to complain but didn’t actually report the harassment.
In the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, the Texas Supreme Court just refused to broadly define sexual harassment in the workplace. Instead, the court found that generalized harassment at work—even if it’s morally reprehensible—doesn’t necessarily violate the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act.
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