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Discrimination / Harassment

It’s up to HR: Act fast to fix supervisor gaffes

Supervisors say the darndest things. It’s up to HR to clear things up before some dumb comment lands your organization in deep legal trouble. Don’t delay! If you know the boss was in the wrong, correct the record ASAP and make things right—the sooner, the better. Add a heartfelt apology on behalf of the company, too.

Be on high alert for harassment: You could be liable for clients’ racial hostility

You no doubt know employers are responsible for protecting employees from co-worker and supervisor racial hostility and harassment. But what about hostility aimed at employees by customers and clients? The EEOC takes the position that employers must rein in hostility, no matter where it originates.

You can’t dodge Title VII by misclassifying employees as independent contractors

One benefit of engaging independent contractors to perform work is that contractors don’t count as employees for purposes of complying with laws such as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. But, just calling someone an independent contractor doesn’t necessarily mean she is one. She might really be an employee.

National-origin discrimination: What you need to know

The rapidly increasing diversity of the U.S. workforce requires all managers to be aware of their legal responsibilities when dealing with applicants and employees from different races, ethnic groups and religions.

Prepare to comply: Pregnant Workers Fairness Act regulations due soon

The EEOC is gearing up to begin enforcement of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The law, enacted in December 2022, requires employers to reasonably accommodate a worker’s limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation will cause the employer an undue hardship.

Think twice before demanding proof an employee’s religion requires accommodation

Thanks to a series of employee-friendly court decisions, workers now have a far easier time winning lawsuits alleging their employers failed to accommodate their religious beliefs and practices. Employers are greatly limited in how far they can go to require employees to prove their religious beliefs and practices require accommodations.

HR needs to know: New guidance explains how EEOC plans to enforce anti-harassment law

The EEOC has released proposed guidance explaining how its investigators and lawyers should handle workplace harassment claims the commission receives. That means it’s critical for smart HR pros, employers and their attorneys to get familiar with it, too.

With war breaking out in the Middle East, beware harassment based on religion here in the U.S.

The Oct. 7 attack by Hamas against Israel has raised the possibility that antisemitism and other forms of religious bias could break out here in the United States. As an employer, you have a responsibility to ensure your workplace remains free of hate speech and actions motivated by hate.

Male-dominated industry? Expect stepped-up EEOC enforcement

Many women have begun seeking jobs in male-dominated industries because they tend to pay more and offer better benefits than jobs that traditionally attract women. However, an influx of female applicants has triggered backlash in some workplaces. The EEOC has taken notice.

EEOC litigation surged to 5-year high in FY 2023

The fiscal year 2023 lawsuit filings—known as merit filings—included 25 systemic lawsuits, almost double the number filed in each of the previous three fiscal years and the largest number of systemic filings in the past five years.