DISCRIMINATION / HARASSMENT

Pregnancy unnecessary for pregnancy bias suit

08/19/2014
A woman doesn’t have to be pregnant to sue for discrimination under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA). Wait, what?

LGBT added as protected class for federal contractors

08/18/2014
In a long-anticipated move, President Obama on July 21 amended Executive Order 11246 to prohibit discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The DOL has until late October to develop regulations implementing the order.

Kluwe punts on suing Vikings

08/18/2014
Former Minnesota Viking punter Chris Kluwe has decided to keep talking to team officials rather than file a $10 million lawsuit.

Involve attorney when honcho is alleged harasser

08/18/2014
Here’s a tricky situation that requires courage: An employee complains that a senior executive may be sexually harassing a subordinate. The best approach may be to contact your employer’s attorney for advice.

Manager hires only members of same class? Don't compound problems by firing them all

08/18/2014
In employment law, the adage that two wrongs don’t make a right is true. Don’t make the mistake an em­­ployer recently made when a super­­visor apparently favored members of his religion in hiring. It terminated them without providing a legitimate, performance-related reason.

One saving grace helped defeat bias lawsuit: Employee never applied for the job

08/18/2014
A court has concluded that em­­ployees looking for promotions or transfers have to make reasonable efforts to apply for a job before they can sue. That’s true even if they were discouraged from applying—unless it was obvious that applying would be futile and therefore ­pointless.

Put details in performance improvement plan

08/18/2014
You can’t prevent every lawsuit over a discharge, but you can be prepared. That preparation includes making sure you can point to solid, performance-based reasons for every termination. Lay the groundwork first with a performance improvement plan (PIP) and you will be well on your way to showing the court your decision was based on objective, measurable business reasons rather than some kind of prejudice or discrimination.

Track problems as soon as troublemaking starts

08/18/2014

Sometimes, employees who sense they are skating on thin ice at work will decide they want to keep their jobs, improve their output and adjust their attitudes to comply with your expectations. And sometimes they won’t. Determine which path such an employee has chosen by tracking both work performance and behavior over time.

EEOC publishes new guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination Act

08/14/2014
The EEOC has issued new guidance tying Pregnancy Dis­­crimi­­na­­tion Act requirements to the broader disability definition in the ADA Amendments Act.

Suit alleges women forced to kiss and wrestle at bar

08/14/2014
A midtown-Manhattan bar faces charges it forced waitresses to kiss one another and wrestle in cranberry sauce while patrons took pictures and videos.

Even with arbitration, some claims may go to trial

08/14/2014
Here’s something to consider when you decide to add an arbitration clause to applications and require employees sign them as a condition of employment: You may end up forcing the em­­ployee into arbitration, but still become embroiled in other related litigation.

Beware even tiny pay gaps between men and women

08/14/2014
Even a small gender-based pay differential may be­­come the foundation of a class-action lawsuit.

Judges don't preside over pity parties: Unfairness not enough for a lawsuit

08/14/2014
Sometimes, like life, supervisors are unfair. But unless there’s some other problem, being treated unfairly isn’t grounds for a lawsuit. Employees have to show that something illegal motivated the unfairness, such as racial or gender bias. Just saying that was the reason isn’t enough, either.

Better late than never: Stop long-simmering racial hostility as soon as you discover it

08/14/2014
Sometimes, employees complain about racial harassment but don’t sue right away. Don’t think the problem will go away just because no one has filed an EEOC complaint.

EEOC expands protections for pregnant employees

08/14/2014
New EEOC guidance issued July 14 says that, under the Pregnancy Dis­­crimination Act, an em­­ployer must accommodate pregnant em­­ployees by offering work restrictions—such as light-duty work—if the employer accommodates nonpregnant employees with similar inabilities to work.
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