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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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Employers in a union environment may think that all employees have to follow the collective bargaining agreement to resolve discrimination claims. But if that process is tainted or woefully inadequate, employees can sue under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act instead ...

You may remember a case that garnered lots of publicity a few years ago. A saleswoman claimed that her employer’s team-building activities were really a form of sexual harassment. A jury agreed, giving her $1.4 million in damages for having to endure public spanking and other indignities. Now the employer will get another shot at the case in front of a new jury ...

 Maria Pineda worked for Bath Unlimited although she didn’t have legal work papers. Two weeks after Pineda divulged her pregnancy, Bath fired her. A court ordered a jury trial, which will focus on pregnancy bias, not her illegal status ...
A San Francisco County jury has awarded $353,680 in damages to a data entry clerk who suffered from a chronic condition that often left her with cracked and bleeding skin ...
If you downloaded your company handbook from the Internet or took it with you from your last job—beware! Take a look at your anti-harassment policy’s reporting procedures. A new court ruling shows why you should take your policy out, dust it off and look it over closely … at least before a jury does ...
The law protects employees from retaliation for complaining about alleged job discrimination. That doesn’t mean, however, that employees have to state specifically that their concerns involve sex, race or some other protected characteristic. Something as simple as complaining about “the glass ceiling” may be enough to at least raise the specter of sex discrimination ...
Barbara Tipps, a school bus driver for Laidlaw Transit Services in Springfield, was part of a group of employees who enjoyed a casual, friendly relationship at work. Tipps often engaged in light sexual banter and even physical cavorting ...

It seems like such a simple rule. Never comment on an applicant’s age or other protected characteristics. Remind managers it takes just one stupid comment to provoke a lawsuit. Emphasize that refusing to interview a qualified candidate because of a stated prejudice almost automatically qualifies as an adverse employment action. That makes it almost certain you will lose.

Firing an employee is never easy, but there’s no reason to try to justify your decision by piling on a litany of reasons to discharge a poorly performing employee. That just complicates the process. Chances are, a court won’t second-guess you if you simply stick to the strongest reason you have for the firing ...

Disabled employees who receive ADA accommodations expect those accommodations to continue even after an unrelated minor injury. If you suddenly remove the accommodation, you may find yourself facing a “regarded-as-disabled” lawsuit ...

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