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Discrimination / Harassment

Beware associational bias arising from covid

Associational discrimination is discrimination against an employee or applicant because of their association with a member of a protected class to which the employee does not belong. The consequences of covid-19 infections raise the possibility of new forms of associational discrimination and retaliation.

Cuomo case offers key lessons for employers

The New York attorney general’s report on sexual harassment allegations that led to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s resignation offers plenty of good insights for employers on anti-harassment training and communication.

Lack of leadership hinders employers’ DEI initiatives

While some employers have successfully implemented measures to increase diversity, equity and inclusion within their workforces, new data from the Society for Human Resource Management found that many others have failed to follow through on their DEI commitments.

DOL could use EEO-1 data against employers

A recent policy change by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs could open the door for more federal scrutiny of employers’ employment practices.

Threat to report Hispanic workers is harassment

Telling Hispanic workers they will be reported to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement can constitute harassment based on national origin. If employees complain to the EEOC, prepare to pay.

Lawsuit: Confederate flag signals harassment

Most employers train supervisors to spot signs of a hostile work environment and fix it before an unhappy employee sues. The trick is to recognize the red flags—sometimes literally.

EEO-1 deadline extended to Oct. 25

The EEOC has again pushed back the deadline for employers to submit their 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 reports.

Manage religious exceptions to the vaccine

The EEOC has clearly said it’s legal for employers to require covid-19 vaccinations. But the agency also said employers must offer accommodations to employees who cannot get the vaccine for disability-related reasons or due to “sincerely held” religious beliefs or practices, as long as the accommodation does not impose an “undue hardship” on the organization.

Apply leave policy equally to all employees

You probably have a well-defined leave policy that gives employees time off for vacations, illness and tending to personal business. Whether you provide separate pots of leave or lump it all into paid and unpaid time off, your leave policy must treat all employees equally.

Transfer accused harasser, not alleged victim

When allegations of sexual harassment arise, it’s common sense to separate the alleged harasser and the alleged victim. Do so by transferring the person who has been accused of harassment. Any effort to move the alleged victim is liable to be construed as retaliation for having reported harassment.