Sexual harassment by a nonemployee confirmed by a Federal court

When I train about sexual harassment or discuss it in a class, one area I mention is that companies can be liable for harassment from a nonemployee. The example I give most often is a delivery person who “flirts” with the receptionist that is receiving the packages. That is not a difficult example to understand …

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How to lose a harassment case without ever committing harassment

A New York sexual harassment case has demonstrated that an employer, and the offending manager, can lose a sexual harassment case without ever being found guilty of sexual harassment. How you wonder? Let me explain. The case The case involved a professor at Columbia University who claimed she was harassed and then denied tenure for …

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Sexual Harassment has a major impact on NYC employers

I happened to be in New York City this past Monday, April 30th. As I was sitting having dinner, by myself, I was watching the television as they discussed the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio, proposed changes in sexual harassment law in the city. Already tough to begin with, where standards had been …

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Valentine Day Archive: Losing out to a lover does not mean you were discriminated against

Valentine Day always sparks a blog post or two about office romances. Here is one I wrote in 2017.  Does a man, who does not get promoted or get an increase, because his boss gives them to his lover, have a claim for discrimination? According to one court, the answer is “NO”. The case Mr. …

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Two Compliance Issues every HR professional should know and teach to managers

I have come across a number of “must-know” lists in the past couple of weeks. Perhaps this is an artifact of the time of year, getting a fresh start phenomenon. As a result, I decided to do my own list. These are the things that I think all good professionals must know. Anti-discrimination Most of …

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Christmas Party Harassment Ends a Career

With all the headlines about harassment today, I thought I would republish this story of how harassment at a company Christmas party ended badly for an HR manager.   There is no lack of horror stories associated with holiday parties. Since this is the Monday before Christmas I will tell you a short one that ended …

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Three Monday morning HR lessons: Learning from the bad judgment of others

Most of us have probably seen the quote “Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment”, a quote attributed to numerous people. The important thing to realize is that it does not always have to be your bad judgment that you learn from, you can learn from the bad judgment of others. …

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Can you swear in the workplace and get away with it?

I bet it is a sure thing that all of us have heard some vulgar words at work. I certainly have. I worked in a manufacturing plant in Illinois and with some employees every other word was “mother-f**king” this and “mother-f**king” that. The question is can you clamp down on vulgarity and avoid claims of …

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Not enough money spent in HR teaching the rules

I read a lot of articles and newsletters from law firms and the government looking for topics for this blog. They are not hard to find.  Here is a list from the EEOC: ABL Management to Pay $35,000 to Settle Retaliation Lawsuit with EEOC Desco Industries Will Pay $45,000 to Settle EEOC Retaliation Lawsuit Country …

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US Court of Appeals affords discrimination protection to LGBT community

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals became the first US Federal court to rule that LGBT employees are afforded protection under Title VII from discrimination on the basis of “sex”. Although the Seventh Circuit only includes Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, according to an announcement by the law firm Fisher Phillips, it is anticipated that this …

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