Posts tagged Employer Investigations.

According to a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll published this week, 48 percent of working women believed they had been victims of sexual harassment in the workplace.

My reaction was, “Only 48 percent?”

Yesterday, I posted about a disability discrimination case that the employer did not really screw up. Even so, a few less-than-optimal moves resulted in an adverse jury verdict that was upheld on appeal.

In Chapter 2 of our series on "employers who didn't really screw up but still lost" is a sexual harassment case that bothers me, involving the Idaho Department of Corrections ...

Last week, we talked about employment investigations. This week, I'd like to talk about what employers do with the information they gathered during the investigation. There are two main tasks:

Thinking.flickrCC.RobertCouse-Baker
"Hmmmm . . ."

No. 1: Figure out what probably happened.

No. 2: Decide what action to take based on No. 1.

It's almost impossible to generalize about No. 1 because the results will vary ...

FBI Logo.flickrCC.By-Your-Command
For illustrative purposes only. This post is not political - I promise!

What makes a workplace investigation so good that you just can't wait to show the EEOC investigator what you did? And you're like, "Plaintiff's lawyer, take us to court -- please!"

All right, maybe nothing would make it that good, but here are nine things employers can do to ensure that they at least won't be ashamed of ...

This should have been an open-and-shut case. For the employer, that is, not the employee.

Lufkin Industries, Inc., had an employee, William Fisher, who was a 55-year-old African-American. One day, Mr. Fisher got into a verbal tiff with his 31-year-old white supervisor, and the supervisor called him "Boy." Mr. Fisher was offended and complained to the company's vice president of Human ...

Mr. Peanut 2.flickrCC.ChristineMajul
"Who done it?"

I'm a week late with this follow-up. (Sorry.)

Two weeks ago, I posted about an employee (fictionally named "Zoey") who had a peanut allergy. After she asked a peanut-butter-loving co-worker ("Addison") to be considerate, Zoey found a big glob of peanut butter smeared under her desk, which caused her to get sick. Addison denied being responsible.

To recap from last ...

LuckyCat.flickrCC.SundoriGaia
"My paw hurts."

Employers should beware of being too quick to believe an employee who accuses a co-worker of wrongdoing. If the accuser has an illegal motive (such as discrimination or retaliation), and if the employer is "negligent" in investigating before taking action against the co-worker, then the employer could be legally responsible.

So says the U.S. Court of Appeals for ...

Well, Gretchen is out, Roger is out, and Megyn is in. Your Magic 8-Ball is here to answer the sexual harassment questions that employers are dying to ask.

No. 1. I thought sexual harassment investigations were supposed to be confidential. Wasn't it Magic 8-Ball 2.flickrCC.frankieleoninappropriate for all of the Fox on-air talent to be expressing their opinions in public about whether Roger Ailes did it or not? 

A semi-recent article in the New York Post -- "The Corporate 'Cure' for Sexual Harassment Only Feeds the Disease" -- cited a couple of studies that allegedly proved that sexual harassment training is worse than doing nothing because it makes men resentful and more likely to tolerate harassment.

Bored Class.flickrCC.SethCapitulo
"Zzzzzzzzz . . ."

Wow. That's terrible!

Except that it's not precisely true. What ...

It's the moment of truth! (Dum-dum-DUM!)

Two weeks ago, we talked about harassment "must-haves" 1 and 2: a good, plain-language policy, and training. Last week, we talked about "must-have" 3: the investigation.Scream.flickrCC.Venturist

Now it's time to talk about "must-have" 4: a fair, legally defensible determination of what happened and what action to take.

During the investigation phase, you wanted to ...

Robin Shea has 30 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (including the Amendments Act). 
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