<ul><li>General practice firm located in Center Valley, Pennsylvania </li></ul><ul><li>HR Areas  of Practice </li></ul><ul...
<ul><li>In the past five years, discrimination lawsuits skyrocketed.    </li></ul><ul><li>Whether due to: </li></ul><ul><u...
<ul><li>WHAT -  What is a discrimination claim? </li></ul><ul><li>WHY -  Why do so many people bring discrimination claims...
<ul><li>Federal and state discrimination laws forbid an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge or discriminate...
<ul><ul><li>Harassment  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The severe and pervasive and altering in the conditions of a victim’s e...
<ul><li>The filing of a claim or charge with the appropriate federal or state agency for violation of a state and/or feder...
  FY 2006  FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 Total Charges 75,768 82,792 95,402 93,277 99,922 Race 27,238 30,510 33,937 33,5...
<ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Discrimination is one of the few exceptions to at-will employment.  Some cases are genuine; some are n...
<ul><ul><ul><ul><li>QUIZ:  WHEN DO YOU START PREVENTING CLAIMS? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ANSWER:  DAY ...
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A  real  handbook – it’s your gateway to defense </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul...
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Corresponding P&P </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No “pimp my ride” version ...
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Same or similar for everyone </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If deviating, m...
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Train your employees </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Train middle management...
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is there one? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ask the questions </li></ul></...
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Remote Access </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flex-time </li></ul></ul></ul>...
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Every opportunity </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Losses as a chance to impr...
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is the gateway to litigation: use strategy, not emotion </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul...
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Promotions from below </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Problem with friends f...
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Everything should be written down </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Medical re...
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In rare instances, it becomes evident that the Aggrieved has filed a claim of harassment for the s...
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The Rising Tide of Discrimination Claims -- How to Avoid the Flood

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Discrimination claims are through the roof. How can your company avoid the flood of discrimination claims hitting employers, large and small?

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The Rising Tide of Discrimination Claims -- How to Avoid the Flood

  1. 2. <ul><li>General practice firm located in Center Valley, Pennsylvania </li></ul><ul><li>HR Areas of Practice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Labor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Privacy/Information Access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Employers/Schools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unemployment Compensation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Media and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Healthcare </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Attorneys admitted in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey </li></ul><ul><li>From outsourcing HR work, training, negotiations, agency, contract drafting and defense, to litigation </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>In the past five years, discrimination lawsuits skyrocketed.   </li></ul><ul><li>Whether due to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Economy, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Workforce reductions, and/or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internet accessibility </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The EEOC has reported an eruption in filings. </li></ul><ul><li>Companies are being sued for all types of discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination actions. </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>WHAT - What is a discrimination claim? </li></ul><ul><li>WHY - Why do so many people bring discrimination claims? </li></ul><ul><li>WHEN - When do you prevent discrimination claims? </li></ul><ul><li>WHERE - Where can you bolster your workplace from litigation? AND </li></ul><ul><li>HOW …. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do you create proper policies and procedures, training, and documentation to protect your company and yourself; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to work with governmental agencies, not against them; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How to handle employment litigation. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 5. <ul><li>Federal and state discrimination laws forbid an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge or discriminate against any individual with respect to compensation, terms , conditions or privileges of employment, on the basis of: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Age </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Race </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Religion </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Veteran Status </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ethnicity </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Disability </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pregnancy </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Health Insurance Usage </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Genetic Disposition </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Workers’ Compensation usage </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>And others….. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 6. <ul><ul><li>Harassment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The severe and pervasive and altering in the conditions of a victim’s employment. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An employer is negligent if it knew, or should have known, and failed to stop it. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Discrimination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The treatment of, or making a distinction in favor or against a person based on a group, class, or category. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The effect of some rule or practice that confers or denies privileges to a certain class because of inclusion in that particular class. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Retaliation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The punishment of an employee for engaging in a protected activity, such as filing a discrimination charge or opposing unlawful employer practices. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. <ul><li>The filing of a claim or charge with the appropriate federal or state agency for violation of a state and/or federal law. </li></ul><ul><li>In Pennsylvania, it is the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and/or Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC). </li></ul><ul><li>The EEOC and PHRC can decide: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To settle a case; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To order a resolution; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To give an employee a Right to Sue Letter, meaning that they are dismissing the case; or </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To take the case themselves and step into the shoes of the Plaintiff. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8.   FY 2006  FY 2007 FY 2008 FY 2009 FY 2010 Total Charges 75,768 82,792 95,402 93,277 99,922 Race 27,238 30,510 33,937 33,579 35,890 35.9% 37.0% 35.6% 36.0% 35.9% Sex 23,247 24,826 28,372 28,028 29,029 30.7% 30.1% 29.7% 30.0% 29.1% National Origin 8,327 9,396 10,601 11,134 11,304 11.0% 11.4% 11.1% 11.9% 11.3% Religion 2,541 2,880 3,273 3,386 3,790 3.4% 3.5% 3.4% 3.6% 3.8% Retaliation 22,555 26,663 32,690 33,613 36,258 29.8% 32.3% 34.3% 36.0% 36.3% Age 16,548 19,103 24,582 22,778 23,264 21.8% 23.2% 25.8% 24.4% 23.3% Disability 15,575 17,734 19,453 21,451 25,165 20.6% 21.4% 20.4% 23.0% 25.2%
  8. 9. <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Discrimination is one of the few exceptions to at-will employment. Some cases are genuine; some are not. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fact-by-fact analysis is necessary, i.e.: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Age -- age discrimination versus getting rid of the most expensive employee </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Disability -- disability versus absence; psychic disabilities versus “you think I’m crazy” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Race -- racism versus having an educational degree </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gender -- sexual harassment versus a bad romantic break-up with a boss </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Realize that these cases generally come down to the facts, even if you should win under the law! </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>QUIZ: WHEN DO YOU START PREVENTING CLAIMS? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>ANSWER: DAY ONE </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>WHERE: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>10. Policies </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>9. Practices </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>8. Consistency </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>7. Training </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>6. Complaint Process </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>5. In the Workplace and Off-duty Conduct </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>4. Self-Audit </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3. Unemployment Compensation </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2. The Donut of Middle Management </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1. Document, Document, Document </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A real handbook – it’s your gateway to defense </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consider what is actually needed </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Get good advice up front so that you don’t pay later on </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Watch out for violations in your language </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it up to date </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Include social media/internet policies </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Corresponding P&P </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No “pimp my ride” version of practices </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Timeliness </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Always work-related </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Directions should make sense </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Employee engagement issues </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Non-monetary awards </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  12. 13. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Same or similar for everyone </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If deviating, make sure WHY </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Past practice considerations </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Timeliness </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Past practice considerations </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Always work-related </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be genuine about both praise and improvement </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 14. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Train your employees </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Train middle management separately </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Topics: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>EEO </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sexual harassment </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Accommodation </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Acceptable Use/Social Media </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fielding complaints </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An ounce of prevention…. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is there one? </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ask the questions </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Alternate means of complaint </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Entrance and Exit Interviews </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Written forms </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Remote Access </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flex-time </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social Media – comments on Facebook/LinkedIn/Blogs </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Code of Conduct policies + other policies </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No expectation of privacy </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Every opportunity </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Losses as a chance to improve </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Decide when to fight, when NOT to fight </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be honest about when you screw up </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Fix what’s wrong </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This is the gateway to litigation: use strategy, not emotion </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>They follow rules of evidence, can take days, not minutes </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Policies and documents, using Facebook pages </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Decide when to fight, when NOT to fight </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>You cannot win or lose them all </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 19. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Promotions from below </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Problem with friends first </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Problems with nonassertive management </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Good, bad and indifferent </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Documents </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  19. 20. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Everything should be written down </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Medical records versus personnel files </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Internet pages versus written documents </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid unhelpful scribbles </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The Judge’s perspective </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Memos to files </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In rare instances, it becomes evident that the Aggrieved has filed a claim of harassment for the sole purpose on harming the Accused. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Where an individual knowingly and intentionally offers false information or makes a false accusation, the roles will reverse, and the Accuser will be deemed to have harassed the Accused. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In that case, the Accuser will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination, and a copy of the documentation will be placed in his/her personnel file. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This policy does not apply where a good faith claim is made but cannot be fully substantiated or proven; this only applies where it becomes evident that the Complainant has deliberately made a deceptive claim. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>RESOLUTION
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