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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NLRB rulings and new anti-harassment, marijuana and leave laws may prompt changes. A new year inevitably brings new workplace laws, whether at the federal, state or local level. So January is usually a good time for HR professionals to review their employee handbook and make changes. Staying abreast of the evolving regulatory environment remains one…

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Sexual harassment in the workplace can have long-term economic impacts on the victims resulting in depression, decreased engagement and/or the decision to leave the job, according to new research from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in Washington, D.C. Women and men reported experiencing sexual harassment—verbal and nonverbal insults, hostile and degrading attitudes, and demeaning…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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