With sexual harassment frequently in the news, some employers may wonder if they are taking sufficient measures to protect themselves if an employee alleges that harassment is taking place. There are several dos and don'ts for employers in addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.
New York residents may be aware that the internet search giant Google has been accused of racial and sexual discrimination and nurturing a workplace environment hostile to women and minorities. The technology company won a victory of sorts on Dec. 4 when a San Francisco Superior Court judge dismissed a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of all of its female employees. However, celebrations at the company's headquarters were likely subdued as the plaintiffs were given 30 days to refile their lawsuit on behalf of only women who claim to have faced pay discrimination.
Employers in New York are usually quite aware of anti-discrimination laws. In response, workplace management often establishes procedures that can prevent bias from taking place during hiring, advancement and retention practices. In some cases, however, an applicant or employee may still perceive an injustice and file a lawsuit or complaint against the employer.
Employers in New York and across the United States are prevented by federal law from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, sex, age, religion and some other factors. However, some employers may engage in perfectly legal behavior that could be perceived as discrimination. Companies can protect themselves against unfair charges of discrimination by taking certain precautions.
If a New York employer selects a candidate for any reason other than his or her qualifications, it could be seen as discrimination. As a general rule, employers are not allowed to discriminate against an applicant based on characteristics such as race, gender or national origin. To avoid discrimination, employers may be well served to create a list of important duties that an employee would need to fill.
Despite occasional market jitters, the employment market continues to grow as we near the end of the summer. According to a recent Wall Street Journal report, hiring in June topped analysts' expectations, with 222,000 jobs added last month. This was the strongest month-to-month increase since February, and given the market conditions, it would not be extraordinary to see increased hiring through the rest of the year.