DISCRIMINATION / HARASSMENT

Even courts can wind up in the EEOC's cross hairs

09/26/2014
The Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas faces an EEOC age dis­crimination lawsuit after it dismissed a 70-year-old employee.

Boss's stupid sexist comment may spur lawsuit

09/26/2014
Even a single comment can be enough to keep a sex discrimination case going—especially if the commentator happens to be a supervisor with firing authority.

Warn supervisors against comments on military service

09/26/2014
Here’s something to include in supervisory training sessions: Warn that negative comments about military service may put the employer on the defensive in the event the employee is terminated.

Complaining about unfairness isn't protected

09/26/2014
Life can be unfair. When an em­­ployee complains about unfairness at work, make sure you document the complaint and make some notes on exactly what she said. If you can show she never mentioned sex, race, age or some other protected characteristic as the underlying reason for the “unfair” treatment she complained about, she hasn’t engaged in “protected activity” and can’t bring a retaliation claim against her employer.

Don't let manager conduct an evaluation if he isn't familiar with employee's work

09/22/2014

While it’s best for supervisors familiar with an employee’s work to provide the bulk of the em­­ployee’s evaluation, sometimes that’s not possible because of a resignation, transfer or other circumstance. In such cases, make sure you explain (and document) why the immediate supervisor or someone else who has observed the employee’s work isn’t doing the evaluating.

Employee acting as her own lawyer? That may not be the easy win you hope for

09/19/2014
Lately, courts have landed hard on attorneys who take so-called frivolous cases, hoping to wrestle a quick settlement from ­employers eager to make the case go away. That should theoretically reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits. It probably won’t.

Seek attorney's help to craft arbitration agreements that will keep you out of court

09/19/2014
A California appeals court has ruled that it’s up to the arbitrator handling a dispute to determine if the arbitration agreement allows class-action arbitration.

EEOC sues Minneapolis manufacturer for disability bias

09/17/2014
A Minneapolis conveyor-belt company faces a disability discrimination suit after it allegedly refused to rehire an employee after he had a heart attack.

Tire company puts equal pay dispute in rear-view mirror

09/17/2014
A female HR director delivered St. Cloud-based Royal Tire a kick when she sued the company for an Equal Pay Act violation.

EEOC sues Minneapolis manufacturer for disability bias

09/17/2014
A Minneapolis conveyor-belt company faces a disability discrimination suit after it allegedly refused to rehire an employee after he had a heart attack.

Careful how often you suggest retirement

09/17/2014
Remind bosses: Be careful how you approach discussing potential retirement plans. Asking too often or in a way that’s not business-related may precipitate an age discrimination lawsuit if the employee loses her job or is demoted after such conversations.

Court won't toss case over strict 90-day filing limit

09/17/2014
When the EEOC issues a so-called “right to sue” letter, the recipient has just 90 days to file a federal lawsuit. But courts are increasingly reluctant to dismiss cases filed within a few days of the deadline.

There's rude and then there's harassment: Simple slights won't cost you in court

09/17/2014
Rudeness is likely to sneak into the workplace no matter how many civility rules you post. Unless the behavior is clearly abusive or obviously offensive to a protected class, don’t lose too much sleep over a potential lawsuit.

Slurs followed by firing? Get a lawyer!

09/17/2014
Here’s a surefire way to spur a lawsuit and ensure it goes to trial: Just fire an employee who has been the target of her boss’s racial slurs.

22% of workforce covered by ban on transgender bias

09/10/2014
According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, which tracks gay-rights issues in the workplace, more than a fifth of U.S. workers will be covered by the Department of Labor’s August announcement that it will interpret prohibitions on sex discrimination in a recent Obama administration executive order to include discrimination based on gender identity and transgender status.
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