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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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Q. The company I work for has had an employee dress code since the company was incorporated. Recently, a male employee began coming to work dressed as a woman. His supervisor asked me if this violates the dress code. If so, can the supervisor require the male employee to dress according to the dress code for males and discipline him if he doesn’t? ...

Although employers can’t guarantee a stress-free work environment, it makes sense to eliminate as much unpleasantness as possible. That means establishing and enforcing “no hazing” and “no public argument” rules. Urge supervisors and co-workers who act like bullies to clean up their acts ...

The California Supreme Court has made it easier for employers to comply with the disability discrimination provisions of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). The court ruled that employees must prove they are qualified for the jobs they seek, not the other way around ...

You probably heard about last month’s big $11.6 million sexual harassment verdict against former basketball star and New York Knicks coach Isiah Thomas. The bad news: Your employees heard about it, too … and it planted a seed in their minds. Will they see your organization’s pockets as the path to a similar windfall? ...

Q. We’re having tardiness and absenteeism issues with our employees. If we place an employee on probation for an excessive number of times tardy and days absent, can we require no absences at all during the probation period? —C.V., New Jersey ...

A man who landed a job with the Penn-Harris-Madison (P-H-M) School Corp. after fleeing Hurricane Katrina has agreed to drop his race discrimination complaint in exchange for $15,000. As part of the agreement, the man will resign ...

A cosmetology instructor in the state prison system will have her case heard by a jury after she convinced a judge her employer most likely retaliated against her for filing a race discrimination charge with the EEOC ...

Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Chief Michael Berkow was dropped from the sex-discrimination lawsuit that has dogged him since he took office in Georgia last year ...

Train everyone in your organization who might receive legal documents—from the mailroom clerk to the front-desk receptionist—to pass them on to management ASAP. Misplaced pleadings can mean an easy win for the person suing. What’s worse, if you miss important deadlines, you’ll lose any chance you might have had to get the case tossed out ...

If you have long-term employees whose performances are deteriorating, step carefully. Their long histories with the company could mean you’ll have a hard time justifying terminations even in light of poor performances. Instead of jumping the gun and firing immediately, take your time. In fact, it may be a good idea to allow more than one supervisor to witness each declining employee performance up close ...

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