Proof required to support discrimination claim

Just because a fired worker and his boss are of different races doesn’t mean discrimination has occurred.

Petty annoyances aren't reason enough to sue

Some employees seem to believe they are owed a perfect workplace, free of all stress. They’re wrong.

Act fast to address employee's request for ADA disability accommodation

Never indefinitely delay addressing a disability accommodation request. In fact, you should make a decision as quickly as possible so the employee can’t accuse you of failure to accommodate through inaction.

Single comment not enough to form basis of discrimination lawsuit

A single, isolated comment—especially if the speaker isn’t a co-worker or supervisor—isn’t sufficient grounds for alleging discrimination. Complaining about it doesn’t amount to protected activity.

How not to handle harassment against a man

Consider this central Pennsylvania case that is going to trial soon. A judge has concluded that not only can a man be sexually harassed, but he may be due punitive damages for his suffering.

What's harassment? Courts will look at view of a 'reasonable person'--not the employee

Sensitive workers may perceive everyday interactions as harassment. But courts don’t measure whether workplace hostility exists based on that employee’s subjective assessment of the situation. Instead, a court will focus on how a hypothetical “reasonable” employee would view it.

When religious freedom & harassment collide

Employers that have strict codes of conduct prohibiting harassment of any kind can still punish employees whose religious beliefs are behind their harassment of gay co-workers. You can’t interfere with an employee’s sincerely held religious beliefs, but you can punish religious “expression” that interferes with another employee’s rights.

Silicon Valley city faces age discrimination charge

The EEOC has filed suit against the City of Milpitas, Ca., alleging the company hired a 39-year-old executive secretary over four other more qualified and older candidates.

New law makes unequal pay claims easier in California

Borrowing liberally from a bill that has languished on Capitol Hill (the Paycheck Fairness Act), California lawmakers have passed SB 358, which requires employers to allow employees to discuss their pay. It also makes it easier for employees to bring unequal pay claims against employers.

New EEOC rules: How do wellness plans interact with genetic-bias law?

The EEOC issued a proposed rule earlier this month that aims to clarify how employers’ wellness programs would interact with a section of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.

Race-based restrooms? Write the settlement check

A black female worker at a North Carolina health care company filed a race discrimination claim, saying the owner repeatedly used the N-word and maintained racially segregated restroom facilities. The court said her hostile environment claim could proceed to trial.

Settlement with back pay? Get your attorney involved

Are you settling a discrimination case with termination and a back or front pay agreement? Be sure to work with counsel to find the most effective way to apply the payment. Done properly, a back pay or front pay lump sum may mean the employee can’t collect unemployment compensation payments.

Employer--not vendor--is liable for fitness-for-duty exam GINA violations


Make sure that any entity you hire to conduct fitness-for-duty exams understands their responsibility to exclude genetic information requests from the determination. Otherwise, you may be liable for Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act violations. The employee doesn’t have to add the providers to the lawsuit.

Applicant selling himself short? That's no reason to pay him less


Sometimes, applicants don’t know how much money to ask for. That’s especially true if their target employer isn’t open about salary ranges or how much it is willing to pay for a particular job. What should you do if an applicant is asking for less money than the position potentially pays?

Beware the scope of religious accommodations

Most employers are aware that certain dress and grooming practices generally must be accommodated in the workplace.
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