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Sexual Orientation Claims: Gay Worker Charges He Was Forced To Quit; How To Keep Harassment Problems From Mushrooming

You may think an employee who hands in their resignation can’t hold you legally responsible for their decision to quit. But a worker who claims their working conditions were intolerable can try to turn a resignation into a lawsuit for “constructive discharge.” As a new ruling involving sexual orientation bias demonstrates, you can avoid being […]

A Harassment Investigation That Worked: What The Employer Did Right

To defend yourself against a lawsuit by an employee terminated for sexual harassment or other misconduct, it’s essential to thoroughly investigate the accuser’s complaint, as the accompanying story illustrates. Here are the key steps Lucky Stores took which led the court to find it had acted properly before discharging the employee accused of harassment:

Managing Sexual Harassment Backlash: Employer Dodges Alleged Harasser’s Suit; Four Practical Strategies

As employers are finding out all too often, getting tough and firing employees who harass other workers can bring on another big headache-a wrongful termination lawsuit. Although the California Supreme Court addressed this troublesome issue earlier this year, it’s been unclear exactly what steps you should take to protect yourself from being sued by an […]

Travel Time: New Case Limits Employees’ Right To Be Paid For Travel Time

If you require employees to attend training or other meetings off-site, do you have to pay them for the extra time it takes them to get there? The answer is not always, at least if you’re a public employer. We’ll focus on a new case addressing this issue and then look at common travel time […]

Terminating Employees: Jury Orders Employer To Pay $28 Million To Worker Fired For Lodging EEOC Complaint; How To Manage A High-Risk Discharge

Suppose you decide to terminate an employee as part of a reduction in force. You treat the worker the same as others selected for layoff and offer the same severance benefits. But the person turns around and sues, claiming the real reason you fired him was to retaliate for a discrimination claim he filed with […]

News Notes: New Survey About Family-Friendly Benefits

What are employers doing to help employees balance work and family needs? A survey by the Families and Work Institute of 1,000 employers with 100+ employees reveals that 90% of the employers gave workers time off to attend school events, and half let employees stay home with a mildly sick child without using vacation or […]

News Notes: Supervisor Personally Hit With Big Harassment Verdict

An employee who claimed her boss sexually harassed her was awarded nearly $400,000 in damages—but the supervisor, not the employer, will have to pay the tab. Maria Kaul worked for a short time as a secretary for Orion Systems, Inc., in Santa Clara. She claimed her boss, Morton Kessler, repeatedly commented on her clothing, kissed […]

News Notes: New Law Prohibits Genetic Discrimination

A bill recently signed by Governor Pete Wilson will prohibit discrimination against otherwise healthy employees with genetic characteristics that predispose them to a hereditary disease. Proponents of the measure, which goes into effect January 1, 1999, say it’s needed because some employers have begun screening job applicants for genetic problems. A recent court decision found […]

News Notes: Employers Winning More ADA Lawsuits

Employers have won a whopping 92% of disability discrimination cases that have gone to trial, according to a new American Bar Association study. Despite the impressive statistics, the Americans with Disabilities Act poses continuing risks for employers. The study did not take into account cases that settled before trial and the high cost of defending […]