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Sexual Harassment

Has #MeToo Created a New Claim of Male-Bias Discrimination?

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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Your Employee Filed An EEOC Charge. Now What?

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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Ten Ways Employers Get Themselves Sued (Part One)

Take care of yourself! In medicine, sometimes the practices that get people in trouble are pretty simple. Too many nachos, and not enough leafy greens. You’d rather binge-watch Seasons 1-3 of Stranger Things than go for a walk. You hate needles, so you haven’t been to the doctor in 20 years. The same principle often applies…

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Don’t Oversimplify Acknowledgments of Harassment Training

Signatures of attendance alone are not enough for some employers Employees’ acknowledgments that they’ve attended anti-harassment training should document more than attendance; they should also show that workers understood the training’s contents, some legal experts say. Most employers just get a signature and that’s it. Following the #MeToo movement, we recommend employers consider an acknowledgment…

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Investigating Claims of Harassment: A Step-by-Step “How To” Part 6: Closing the Investigation and Additional Steps Thereafter

This final installment of a six-part series on harassment investigations discusses how to close the investigation and steps to take after the investigation has been closed. As always, bear in mind that each harassment investigation is different and must be tailored to fit the particular circumstances. Close the Investigation Once the investigation has concluded, it…

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Investigating Claims of Harassment: A Step-by-Step “How To” Part 5: Other Sources of Evidence, Summarizing the Investigation, & Reaching a Conclusion

Before concluding a harassment investigation, the investigator should follow up with other possible sources of evidence, record and summarize the investigation, and reach a conclusion. This fifth part of a six-part series discusses these final steps in the investigation process. As always, bear in mind that each harassment investigation is different and must be tailored to fit…

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Investigating Claims of Harassment: A Step-by-Step “How To” Part 4: Note-Taking Techniques and Tips for Assessing Witness Credibility

In any investigation of a harassment complaint, the investigator must interview people and take notes. This fourth part of a six-part series addresses techniques for note-taking and tips for assessing the credibility of witnesses. As always, bear in mind that each harassment investigation is different and must be tailored to fit the particular circumstances. Helpful Witness Interview…

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Investigating Claims of Harassment: A Step-by-Step “How To” Part 3: Interviewing the Accused and Other Witnesses

You have received a complaint of harassment and interviewed the complainant. In this third part of a six-part series, we discuss interviewing the accused and other witnesses. As always, bear in mind that each harassment investigation is different and must be tailored to fit the particular circumstances. Interviewing the Accused At the beginning of the meeting, the…

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Constructing a Workplace Environment That Rejects Sexual Harassment

The political and cultural climate surrounding workplace sexual harassment is evolving faster than many companies can address or adapt to on their own. Internal and external stakeholders (management, employees, customers, clients, and business partners) have new and heightened expectations about what companies should be doing to prevent and respond to harassment—whether reported or not. Moreover,…

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