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Discrimination / Harassment

2 upcoming court decisions affect employers

The 2019–2020 term of the U.S. Supreme Court ends June 29. Between now and then, big questions for employers and HR hang in the balance.

Coming to a court near you: covid-19 lawsuits

In just a few weeks, dozens of federal lawsuits have been filed alleging some workplace wrong related to the coronavirus or covid-19.

Is that harassment, or just a social media spat?

Sometimes, employees bicker back and forth on social media. That can lead to accusations that someone was representing the employer and used online postings to harass or retaliate. Unless the employee can prove that the posting was done on behalf of the employer, he won’t win.

Staffing companies must stand up for their workers

Staffing companies that provide workers for other employers have an obligation to stand up for the workers they send on assignments when the client employer violates anti-discrimination laws such as Title VII and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

Review pension plan for age discrimination

Here’s a $5.4 million reminder that discriminating on the basis of age when administering employee benefits violates federal law.

Root out all demographic hiring preferences

We all know hiring managers shouldn’t discriminate against some candidates because of protected characteristics. It’s just as unlawful for them to favor certain candidates because they belong to a particular ethnic group or nationality.

Lack of right-to-sue letters isn’t good news

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the EEOC has temporarily stopped issuing right-to-sue letters, which give employees the greenlight to file discrimination and harassment lawsuits against their employers. When business starts up again, expect a flood of discrimination and harassment litigation.

#MeTooLate? Policy change won’t always stop lawsuits

When the #MeToo movement exposed pervasive sexual harassment in corporate America, the board of directors at McDonald’s implemented anti-harassment policies that went far beyond what the law requires. Too bad that wasn’t enough to prevent what could prove to be a massive harassment lawsuit.

Don’t let assistive technology affect hiring

Warn hiring managers not to disregard an applicant because assistive technologies indicate he or she might be disabled. Those systems provide evidence of bias that can be used against you in court.

Federal employees get extra age-bias help

In a surprising 8-1 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a federal law, in Justice Samuel Alito’s words, “demands that personnel actions be untainted by any consideration of age.”