DISCRIMINATION / HARASSMENT

MPW Industrial Services settles disability bias complaint

10/31/2014
Ohio-based MPW Industrial Services has agreed to settle a disability discrimination suit the EEOC filed on behalf of a job applicant.

You'll need those notes: Save employee complaints

10/31/2014

If an employee cares enough about a promotion, assignment or training opportunity to contact HR with a complaint, save the note, email or other communication. Here’s why.

Voluntary retirement likely nixes wrongful-discharge suit

10/31/2014
Have you ever urged an employee facing discipline to retire instead of being fired? That’s OK—as long as you provide an alternative, such as allowing the em­­ployee to defend himself by offering his side of the story.

Prevent fail-to-hire suits by stripping protected characteristics from résumés

10/31/2014
Here’s an easy way to avoid needless failure-to-hire lawsuits: Sim­­ply have someone who is not involved in the initial decision to offer interviews remove risky identifying information from résumés.

Avoid appearance of retaliation against whistle-blowers

10/30/2014
To constitute whistle-blowing, employees must do more than merely state that they are going to complain about the employer’s actions. They must actually do so. Whistle-blowers don’t have to demonstrate an actual violation of the law as long as they have a reasonable, good-faith belief that a violation of the law has occurred or might.

Bullying prevention training to become mandatory in California

10/27/2014
In a few short weeks, California employers with 50 or more em­­ployees must change their training programs to include new material. Effective Jan. 1, anti-bullying training is mandatory for covered employers thanks to Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature on A.B. 2053 back in September.

Supreme Court clears way for same-sex marriage

10/27/2014

On Oct. 6, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review all seven same-sex marriage cases pending before it. The Court’s refusal to hear the appeals meant that the lower court decisions striking down same-sex marriage bans in Indiana,  Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin took effect right away. The immediate effects are twofold.

EEOC sues Sacramento clinic for disability bias

10/27/2014
The EEOC is suing Dialysis Clinic Inc. in Sacramento, alleging that a nurse who had worked there for 14 years experienced discrimination after developing breast cancer.

Complicated compensation formula? Prepare to spell out all details in court

10/27/2014
Here’s a warning for employers with overly complicated compensation systems: If someone believes the pay plan is discriminatory, you’ll probably have to spend considerable time explaining the system in court. Simpler may be better.

Appeals court: Employee doesn't have to be first whistle-blower to be protected

10/27/2014

Public employees are protected from retaliation for reporting wrongdoing at work, either within their chain of command or to appropriate authorities. But what if several employees report the same alleged wrongdoing?

Disrespect? That's not grounds for lawsuit

10/27/2014
While politically incorrect statements may be distasteful and offensive, they aren’t necessarily grounds for a lawsuit. That’s especially true if the statement can’t be tied directly to a protected characteristic such as national origin, religion or race.

Disability bias charges up 64% since 2000

10/20/2014
The EEOC handled 25,957 charges of disability discrimination in fiscal year 2013, up from 15,864 in 2000.

Is an easier commute a disability accommodation?

10/17/2014
A New Jersey woman is suing her former employer, contending she was fired after requesting different hours so she could avoid rush-hour traffic.

Is mandatory retirement ever legal?

10/15/2014

Say you’ve got some older employees and you’re now wondering if they’re ever going to, you know, call it quits. Of course, you can’t give older workers a hard time so as to pressure them into leaving. That’s against the law. But could you maybe suggest—or even require—that they retire at a given age, say, 65 or 70?

How should we handle worker's upcoming transgender transformation?

10/14/2014
Q. We have a male employee in our accounting department. He recently told us that he plans to start presenting himself as female and is thinking of undergoing surgery to transform to a female. We think we will have employees who are really uncomfortable with this situation, so we are wondering if we can terminate our accounting employee or if this might get us into trouble?
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