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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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Open a New York newspaper and chances are you’ll see a headline featuring an employer in deep trouble for allegedly allowing an atmosphere of sexual or racial harassment to flourish. When you receive such a complaint, act immediately. Don’t wait. Often, that’s exactly what the employee’s attorney is hoping. Instead, investigate and reach a conclusion ...

You would think it’s common sense, but apparently it’s not. While viewing pornography may be perfectly legal in one’s home (with some exceptions, such as that containing images of children), such viewing has absolutely no place at work. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals consistently has ruled “the mere presence of pornography in a workplace can alter the ‘status’ of women” and may be objective proof of a hostile environment ...

Charlene Morisseau, a litigation associate in DLA Piper’s New York City office, lost a $250 million race discrimination lawsuit against the law firm. Morisseau joined the firm in 2003 and was fired in less than a year ...

A former recruiter for K-Sea Transportation of Staten Island is suing the company for $16 million, claiming it failed to address her sexual harassment complaints ...

Q. I know I’m supposed to investigate harassment complaints. I just don’t know what law requires it. Exactly why does an employer need to conduct an investigation of a harassment complaint? ...

Q. If a victim of sexual harassment wants the matter dropped, do we still have to conduct an investigation? ...

Q. If we start an investigation about sexual harassment, is there anything we need to worry about while conducting the investigation? ...

Conventional wisdom has been that isolated or “stray” remarks alone by an employer do not prove discriminatory intent. Conventional wisdom may be wrong. A recent 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals case (Tomassi v. Insignia Financial Group, Inc., 478 F.3d 111, 2007) has clarified what it deemed a misconception of the true meaning of the term “stray remarks”  ...

Employers must stay abreast of an alphabet soup of federal laws—ADA, ADEA, FMLA and so forth—each with its own requirements. To comply, you first must know which laws apply to your business, based on the number of people you employ. Here's how to tell which laws affect your workplace ... and which ones you can safely ignore.

The following sample policy was excerpted from The Book of Company Policies, published by HR Specialist, © 2010. Edit for your organization’s purposes. _____________________________ “The facilities to provide Internet access at ZYX come at considerable resource cost and commitment. The Internet’s vast informational and educational capabilities can help us all do a better job, but […]
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