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Discrimination / Harassment

Resist temptation to act on presumptions about pregnant employees’ abilities

Some managers continue to hold outdated views on pregnancy and the capacity for a woman to work while awaiting the birth of her child. Being vocal about these views—and especially acting on them—is almost certain to provoke a lawsuit.

Lawsuit alert: Beware disciplining for infractions of seldom-enforced rules

Sometimes, supervisors get frustrated with workers they consider trouble makers because they complain all the time. Those bosses need to think twice before they retaliate by strictly enforcing work rules—especially if they have often ignored those rules in the past.

Accommodate lactation needs of new mothers

Employers that prohibit necessary lactation breaks or who retaliate against women for trying to take breaks may violate the sex discrimination provisions of Title VII.

Federal courts add another twist in the road to pay equity

The U.S. Supreme Court just rejected an equal pay lawsuit for a most unusual reason. Even so, employers can learn valuable lessons from the case.

Transgender football player wins $20,000 for bias

For the first time a transgender person has won an employment discrimination award under the Minnesota Human Rights Act.

Audit training to identify possible discrimination

Make sure your training programs don’t discriminate, especially if promotions and pay raises depend on training.

$4.2 million firing: Back pay, pain & suffering, punitive damages—and then front pay, too

Unfairly terminating a worker could spark a lawsuit that costs your organization millions of dollars.

Supreme Court hands win to injured workers

The Minnesota Supreme Court has overturned a 30-year-old decision that prevented injured workers from receiving workers’ compensation benefits and also suing their employers for discrimination.

Missed EEOC deadline doesn’t rule out lawsuit

If you haven’t heard from a former employee by the time the EEOC’s 180-day deadline for filing a complaint passes, you can probably safely assume the termination won’t turn into a discrimination lawsuit. However, there is one way a former employee can revive her chance to sue.

Sexual innuendo can be sex discrimination

Here’s a new worry, courtesy of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals: Allowing—or worse yet participating in—rumors that a female employee is allegedly “sleeping with the boss” to get ahead may trigger a sex discrimination lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.