In a manufacturing environment, employees often work near each other, and the level of noise can cause conversations to go unheard by others not in the immediate vicinity. Like the quintessential example of “locker room talk,” “shop talk” in a manufacturing environment can walk a fine line between employee banter and inappropriate, or, in extreme…

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Claims can take a toll on an employer’s reputation, finances, culture and more — not to mention the effect on employees directly involved. While the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported a drop in charges received last year, the more than 72,000 filed show that discrimination and harassment complaints are still very much a concern for employers.…

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Employees come to work to perform a job, but they also bring their social, political and personal ideologies, which they may choose to express in conversations with co-workers, on their clothing or in other ways. Thousands of Americans are actively engaging in social justice movements and standing up for causes such as Black Lives Matter.…

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Par Ventures, Inc., a North Carolina corporation that operates seven McDonald’s restaurants, has agreed to pay $12,500 to settle a U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit alleging that a teenage worker was subjected a sexually hostile work environment. EEOC alleged in a statement announcing the agreement that a “people manager” at one of the…

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Legislation from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the Americans with Disabilities Act help define the boundaries of the U.S. workplace. Is it discriminatory to terminate a worker who can’t attend a Friday-night shift due to religious obligations? Could an employer demote someone who can’t carry out the essential functions of…

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Romance at work isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can create consequences ranging from irritating to legally actionable. Employees can spend most of their waking hours at work, so, naturally, friendships can form; and out of some of those, romantic relationships will blossom. But sometimes those work romances cross a line or spawn consequences. The…

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Republican, Democrat and independent employees have something in common in these partisan times: Nearly half have had a disagreement in the workplace over politics, according to new research released today. The survey, fielded Oct. 7-14, suggests that many workers are involved in political discussions in the workplace and that those discussions are leading to conflicts: 56 percent of U.S. employees say…

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Often—and without much thinking—when an employer faces a claim of sexual harassment, the knee-jerk response is to discipline or terminate the man accused. It is the easiest way to go, especially if the alleged harasser is a mid- or lower-level employee, is not a stellar performer, and involved in a largely he said/she said situation.…

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Charges of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) (and similar charges with state and local human relations agencies) are a critical first step in an employee’s discrimination claim. For employers, the importance of responding strategically to such charges cannot be understated. This article will cover what to expect, and will provide a few key strategic…

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