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Employment Law

Save all documents and notes relating to employee’s bias or harassment complaint

Make it a standard practice to retain every written document concerning employee complaints. Make and keep notes on oral complaints and phone calls. Don’t delete parts of email chains. Save every memo and letter.

Follow up after discrimination complaint to ensure there’s no retaliation

Don’t just assume you have fixed a discrimination and harassment problem that was uncovered when someone complained about a supervisor. Check back regularly with the employee who complained to make sure she isn’t experiencing retaliation.

Conduct self-audit to spot possible bias

When you have only one member of a protected class on staff and she’s been rejected for several promotions or transfers, it may be time to audit your organization for possible discrimination. Don’t wait, or you could wind up facing a lawsuit.

Court: NY’s ban on mandatory arbitration of harassment claims violates federal law

Last year, new legislation made it unlawful for employers to force employees to sign arbitration agreements covering for sexual harassment claims. Now a federal court considering such an agreement has concluded the law violates an existing federal law.

New York legislature expands employment discrimination law

The New York State Assembly and Senate has passed legislation that makes sweeping changes to the New York Human Rights Law. This legislation will have a significant impact on the litigation of discrimination and harassment claims filed with the Division of Human Rights and in court.

What to do about repeated harassment claims that always turn out to be unfounded?

Q. We have an employee who has complained multiple times that she’s been sexually harassed. Each time we investigate, no one will back up her stories. Can we tell her to stop complaining?

Quick action following harassment claim is essential

When an alleged sexual harasser is a co-worker, employers must take immediate action to investigate. That investigation must be designed to stop any ongoing harassment and prevent future harassment. That means following up with the victim.

Workers’ comp retaliation or a legitimate discharge?

Firing someone shortly after he makes a workers’ compensation claim means risking a retaliation lawsuit. To defend, the employer must show the court that there was a legitimate, unrelated reason for the termination.

Note exact date you informed employees they would be losing their jobs

Former employees generally have just 300 days to file an EEOC discrimination complaint, and the clock starts ticking on the last date discrimination occurred. But in the case of an announced termination, the crucial date is when the employee learned she was going to lose her job.

Older worker must sign severance agreement in order to claim OWBPA violation

Under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, employers are required to follow certain rules before getting employees to promise not to sue in exchange for receiving a severance payment. But merely presenting a severance offer that technically doesn’t meet those standards isn’t a separate legal wrong, as a recent case shows.