Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Showing posts for: Harassment & Discrimination

Photo of Kara Craig
Dec 20 2018
Q&AHarassment & DiscriminationPrivacy & Confidentiality  

Q&A: Know how to handle the aftermath of a harassment investigation

Question: I just completed a harassment investigation. We verified that harassment occurred and terminated the harasser. Everyone seems to know what happened and tensions are high in our small office. What else can I do? 

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Photo of Jon Benson
Dec 17 2018
Q&AEmployee BenefitsHarassment & DiscriminationLabor RelationsWage and Hour  

Q&A: No-fault attendance policies must allow many exceptions

Question: We have a “no fault” attendance policy which assigns points for absences, tardies, and early departures. Employees are disciplined and eventually terminated if they reach a certain number of points. We know we have to allow exceptions for legally protected time off, but what if it’s unclear whether an absence is protected?  

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Photo of Jackie Marks
Dec 14 2018
Harassment & Discrimination  

Employer’s failure to stop harassment by customer leads to $250,000 jury award

A federal appeals court confirmed a jury award of $250,000 against a grocery store whose female employee was stalked by a male customer at work. The employer ordered the customer to avoid the employee, but failed to ensure the customer complied. For the next 13 months, the customer continued following the…

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Photo of Kandis Sells
Aug 06 2018
Q&ADisabilityHarassment & DiscriminationSafety and Health  

Q&A: “100-percent healed” return-to-work policy violates ADA

Question: To avoid workplace injuries, we require all employees to be 100-percent healed without any medical restrictions before they return to work after an illness or injury. We think this is an important policy to protect employee safety, but recently heard it might be unlawful discrimination. Is it?

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Photo of Diane Buisman
Jul 05 2018
Q&AHarassment & Discrimination  

Q&A: Informal harassment complaints should be taken seriously

Question: Our harassment policy specifies how employees should report issues to the company. If no one formally reports inappropriate behavior, do we need to do anything about it? Also, can we discipline an employee for not following our reporting procedures?

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Photo of Kandis Sells
Jul 02 2018
Harassment & DiscriminationHiring  

Q&A: Limit on prior work experience in hiring may be age discrimination

Question: In job postings for our entry-level manager positions, we list the requirements as “3 to 7 years (no more than 7 years) of relevant work experience” to make sure we don’t waste our time interviewing a bunch of overqualified candidates. We recently had an applicant complain that our cap on prior work experience constitutes unlawful age discrimination, but job postings like ours seem really common. It’s okay for us to set a limit on prior experience when we’re hiring, right?

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Photo of Kandis Sells
May 30 2018
Harassment & DiscriminationHiringSafety and Health  

New domestic violence law expands protections in Washington

Washington has significantly revised its Domestic Violence Leave law to prohibit discrimination against applicants or employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The new law applies to all employers as of June 7, 2018, and prohibits employers from: Refusing to hire an actual or perceived victim of…

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Photo of Karen Davis
May 29 2018
Harassment & DiscriminationWage and Hour  

Brace for impact of pay equity laws

With Starbucks’ recent announcement that the company has achieved 100 percent pay equity by race and gender for U.S. workers performing similar jobs, most employers are left wondering how Starbucks got there—and how they can get there, too. The topic of equal pay continues to make headlines, and California, Oregon, and Washington are at the…

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Photo of Jon Benson
May 25 2018
Harassment & Discrimination  

Sexual harassment retaliation victim gets big verdict against her employer

A female police sergeant was awarded $350,000 in a retaliation claim when her employer transferred her 180 miles away after she complained of sexual harassment. The sergeant, who had worked for the police since 1987, had complained of unwanted sexual advances and a sexual assault by a co-worker. The investigation by…

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Photo of Jackie Marks
May 25 2018
Q&AHarassment & DiscriminationLeave Laws  

Q&A: Leave is last resort for pregnant worker with lifting restrictions

Question: We have a pregnant employee who just notified us she has lifting restrictions for the remainder of her pregnancy. Her current position requires consistently lifting 40 pounds, but she says she can’t lift more than 10 pounds. Can we put her on leave for the rest of her pregnancy?

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