DISCRIMINATION / HARASSMENT

Supreme Court hears arguments in key pregnancy discrimination case

12/10/2014
Does the Pregnancy Discrimination Act require employers to accommodate expectant mothers in the same way they must accommodate disabled workers? That was the question before the U.S. Supreme Court when it heard oral arguments Dec. 3 in Young v. UPS, a closely watched case that could affect workplaces nationwide.

Can't explain pay difference? That's a problem

12/09/2014

Courts considering pay discrimination claims want to believe that employers don’t purposely adopt policies that pay men more than women for the same work. But employers won’t win many lawsuits if they can’t explain exactly how pay differences came about. Simply put, if you have a complicated process for determining compensation, be ready to share it with the court.

Fresno eatery settles EEOC sexual harassment complaint

12/08/2014
Sal’s Mexican Restaurant in Fresno, California has agreed to settle a sexual harassment complaint filed by a former hostess. According to the complaint, the hostess was a teenager when a male supervisor continually propositioned her for sexual favors, grabbed her and required her to give him hugs and back rubs as part of her duties.

Ban comments about age, national origin, but don't sweat isolated incidents

12/08/2014
Here’s some good news. One single isolated comment about an employee’s advancing age or his country of origin isn’t enough to sustain a lawsuit claiming age discrimination.

Court approves settlement in EEOC lawsuit

12/08/2014
The federal court hearing a sexual harassment and hostile work environment case has agreed to settle the case with a modest payment and extensive EEOC monitoring to prevent further harassment. While the payment was relatively small, the company will now endure regular EEOC visits to check on its progress.

Former NYPD diver files race bias lawsuit

12/08/2014
A former New York Police Depart­­ment officer of mixed-race ancestry is accusing the department of tolerating racial bias, alleging that co-workers on the NYPD’s elite scuba diving team harassed him.

Beware class action if you pay young men more than experienced women

12/08/2014
Now that every paycheck can become the basis for a new equal pay claim, smart employers are proactive about making sure they base compensation on factors other than sex, age or some combination of those factors.

Respond vigorously to anonymous harassment

12/08/2014

Occasionally, a worker will do something truly stupid: tagging offensive graffiti, posting jokes that aren’t funny or leaving anonymous, bigoted notes. Whatever form it takes, make sure you respond immediately. Show you mean business about stamping out harassment.

Unfair isn't illegal

12/08/2014
Judges understand the difference between an unfair boss and an illegal practice. They won’t hold you liable for all bad decisions—just the discriminatory ones.

Make it easy to complain about harassment, bias

12/05/2014
Employers that give a way for em­­ployees to complain about harassment or discrimination have already won half the battle. That will help prevent many lawsuits in cases where the harasser is a co-worker and the employee never gave the employer a chance to stop the harassment.

Employee complained in the past? Keep that info from new supervisor

12/05/2014
Here’s an easy way to stop retaliation lawsuits: If an employee has complained in the past about harassment, discrimination or other legal wrongs, make sure that information stays confidential.

No matter who says it, there's one word you should always ban from your workplace

12/05/2014
Here’s something to consider when punishing employees for the use of racial or ethnic slurs: Don’t think that one race can use a term, but that another cannot.

Lawsuit for guard who took a knife, got the ax

12/05/2014
Pittsburgh security firm Capital Asset Protection can look forward to an age discrimination from a 70-year-old former security guard who was hailed as a hero for helping to end a violent rampage at a high school—and then lost his job.

Immediately address every harassment complaint

12/05/2014
Don’t think that by ignoring obvious harassment, it will go away. More likely, the offensive be­­havior will escalate—and may even turn into a brawl or worse.

EEOC charges, monetary settlements decline

12/01/2014
The number of EEOC charges fell slightly in fiscal year 2014, but employers wound up paying dramatically less for workplace discrimination, harassment and retaliation than they did in 2013.
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