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Workplace Harassment

Political Discord Is Disrupting the Workplace

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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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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Employers, Can You Fire An Employee For Being Gay or Transgender?

We will soon see—at least under federal law. What am I talking about? This past week, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard oral arguments on three cases in order to decide whether discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or transgender status constitutes discrimination “on the basis of sex.” Let’s…

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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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Employers Beware: Workplace Gossip about Sex May Risk Liability under Title VII

Sexually explicit rumors, affairs to influence promotion, jealous male coworkers, sexist remarks by a high-ranking manager, and ultimate retaliation and termination—an episode of Mad Men? The plot of a new show on Netflix? No. Real sexual harassment—at least according to Evangeline Parker, who filed a claim alleging discrimination under Title VII against her former employer,…

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Bullying: An Occupational Health and Safety Hazard

When one thinks of a hazard at a workplace what may come to mind are falls from heights or getting caught in a pinch point of industrial machinery. In general we think of something that is traumatic and may cause a physical injury such as a broken arm or leg, concussion or even death. But…

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The Rumor Mill Is Now Your Problem? Yes, According to the Fourth Circuit

In a decision that could have wide-ranging implications for all employers, the Fourth Circuit Court, located in Richmond, Virginia, with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the District of Maryland, Eastern District of North Carolina, Middle District of North Carolina, Western District of North Carolina, District of South Carolina, Eastern District of Virginia, Western District of Virginia, Northern District…

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EEOC Focuses on Preventing Workplace Harassment

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) had a busy year in 2017 and was focused in part on creating programs to prevent workplace harassment and disability discrimination. “The commission believes a concerted effort to promote holistic prevention programs, including training and outreach, will greatly deter future violations,” the agency stated in its latest strategic enforcement…

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