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Discrimination / Harassment

Best defense: Consistent rules universally enforced

When an applicant or employee launches a lawsuit, courts naturally end up scrutinizing your organization and its processes. The best defense: Have consistent rules that you universally apply to everyone.

Ensure policy spells out exactly how employees should report allegations of sexual harassment

You will probably survive a harassment lawsuit if you trained all employees how to use the policy and followed up with discipline whenever an investigation uncovered harassment.

Employee acts as attorney? Prepare for a long haul

Plenty of employees who want to sue their employers can’t find an attorney willing to represent them. Then they decide to act as their own lawyers. Courts dread these cases, but they often grant great leeway to pro se plaintiffs, who usually aren’t familiar with even basic legal processes.

Jury’s $20 million message on anti-gay bias

A Missouri jury has just delivered an unmistakable lesson to organizational leaders everywhere: Open displays of homophobic bigotry aren’t just wrong; they have real-world consequences.

California sexual harassment prevention training deadline extended

Employers now have until Jan. 1, 2021, to comply with the sexual harassment training requirements.

Reverse discrimination carries a hefty price tag, too

Employers can’t prefer one protected class of worker over another in hiring, even if the preferred class has historically been discriminated against. Such so-called reverse discrimination cases can net big penalties for employers.

Train supervisors: They must be prepared to accommodate religious attire

It’s crucial for supervisors to understand that employees have the right wear religious attire at work. Making comments about that attire or refusing to modify dress codes may trigger a religious discrimination lawsuit.

Los Angeles Times sportswriter Simers wins $15 million in bias suit

A jury has awarded a former Los Angeles Times sports columnist $15.4 million in his age and disability lawsuit against the paper. With interest, the amount could reach $22 million.

ADA blame game creates hostile environment

Instruct all employees to treat everyone with respect and avoid crass blame games.

No preconditions: Always look into harassment

Courts expect you to investigate every sexual harassment complaint. That means you should never put conditions on accepting a complaint for investigation.