DISCRIMINATION / HARASSMENT

Comcast settles sex bias charges involving call centers

09/01/2015
Philadelphia-based Comcast has settled charges it manipulated women into taking lower paying jobs at a call center in Washington.

Different starting salaries for same job? Be prepared to explain why

09/01/2015
Do you sometimes offer new employees different salaries for the same positions? If so, be sure you document why one applicant is worth more than another.

Commitment to diversity doesn't prove bias

09/01/2015
Employers that make public commitments to creating a more diverse workplace don’t risk losing a lawsuit solely based on that stated objective. An employee alleging discrimination because he isn’t part of the targeted demographic for diversity still has to show that he was fired or not promoted for a discriminatory reason. He can’t simply argue that the diversity commitment proves his case.

No proof required: Heart disease automatically a covered disability under California's FEHA

08/26/2015
Under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, heart disease is a disability. The employee doesn’t have to prove that in his particular case, the condition limits a major life activity.

Justify change that will affect older workers

08/26/2015
Are you planning to change the way you schedule work or provide overtime opportunities? If the proposed changes would affect your older employees, make sure you document solid business reasons to justify the new system, just in case it is challenged in court.

Alleged harassment victim must file complaint

08/21/2015

When an employer provides a way for employees to complain about poor treatment based on harassment, it will only be liable if it knew about the offensive behavior and failed to address it. That’s why you should be prepared to document all complaints.

EEOC alleges race bias at New Ulm factory

08/19/2015
Windings Inc., a maker of precision motor parts in New Ulm, faces charges it refused to hire a qualified applicant because he is biracial. The EEOC has filed suit against the company in federal court, claiming it violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act when it refused to hire the man.

Don't tolerate 'reverse harassment' of supervisors

08/19/2015
Just as supervisors aren’t allowed to harass subordinates, subordinates aren’t allowed to harass bosses.

One religious comment doesn't trump legitimate discipline

08/19/2015
Just because religion was mentioned at work doesn’t mean you will lose a religious harassment lawsuit.

Consider independent investigation when worker claims repeated retaliation

08/19/2015
Employees who complain about discrimination or harassment are protected from retaliation. But how do you know whether a supervisor’s actions are retaliation? Don’t just take the supervisor’s word on what happened. Launch an independent investigation.

DHR to Jack Link's: Promote jerky, not jerk

08/19/2015
The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has settled a sexual harassment complaint against beef jerky maker Jack Link’s. A female employee at the company’s Mankato plant complained that her supervisor repeatedly hounded her for sex.

Court hints at MHRA 'association' bias cause

08/19/2015
A federal court considering a claim that the Minnesota Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination in hiring against those “associated” with a disabled Minnesotan has hinted that, in the right circumstances, it would entertain such a lawsuit.

Male culture can be factor in sex bias case

08/19/2015
If your workplace appears to be dominated by men—especially at the highest levels of the company—then that could hurt your efforts to defend against a sex discrimination lawsuit. Fortunately, all other factors being equal, it won’t be a game-changer.

Can a church ask about an applicant's religious beliefs?

08/13/2015
Q. As a church employer, is it legal for us to request an applicant to state his or her religious beliefs, or to require them to be of our beliefs?

Being yelled at isn't grounds for quitting

08/13/2015
Not all workplaces are civil and pleasant environments. Supervisors and co-workers sometimes lose their tempers and raise their voices. If it doesn’t happen often and isn’t related to a protected characteristic such as race, occasional yelling  doesn’t justify quitting.
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