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Often-overlooked risk: training discrimination

Make sure supervisors in your organization aren’t playing favorites with some employees at the expense of others. Excluding certain employees from the “inner circle” that get special training, mentoring or promotion opportunities is legally dangerous, as this new ruling shows.

Pay for voluntary training during lunch?

Q. If our organization offers voluntary employee training, which takes place during lunch, do we have to pay employees for the time spent attending training?

Train and track to beat harassment lawsuits

Employers aren’t required to prevent all harassment—just to stop it when it happens and take reasonable preventive steps. Two of those: Providing anti-harassment training to every employee and tracking who gets that training.

What steps should we take to ensure supervisors issue consistent discipline?

Q. We are having a hard time keeping discipline consistent between supervisors. To promote consistency, upper management would like to implement a new discipline policy setting out what disciplinary steps should be followed. Do you recommend this?

Ensure bosses provide training for everyone

Here’s a tip that can save you from needless litigation: Make sure supervisors don’t play favorites with some employees at the expense of others. You never know which employee will later claim she was excluded from the “inner circle” that got preferential treatment because of a protected characteristic.

Want to retain employee threatening to quit? Think twice before over-promising

Here’s a warning that may save you time and trouble: If you want to keep an employee who has another job offer, be careful what you promise.

Fashion tip for the fall season: Don’t tolerate teasing about clothing

Here’s a warning for your super­­visors and managers: If an em­­ployee complains that other em­­ployees are making fun of his wardrobe choices or other manner of dressing, act fast to stop the teasing.

Supreme Court rejects EEOC’s broad definition of ‘supervisor’

In a major victory for employers, the Supreme Court in June ruled that, in Title VII cases, only someone with the power to take “tangible employment action” can be considered a supervisor. The Court’s decision in Vance v. Ball State will make it harder for employees to sue for supervisor bias, a claim that carries strict employer liability.

Target misses mark with multicultural training

Minneapolis-based retailer Target is scrambling to explain a training document that surfaced at one of its Northern California distribution centers. The document purports to tell supervisors how to interact with Hispanic employees—and in the process betrays some offensive stereotypes.

Court: If interns perform work, pay them!

A New York case with a Hollywood connection is a timely reminder that, in almost all cases, employers must pay interns, no matter how menial their work is.