How to Avoid Employment Claims
I recently asked a candidate for judge who used to be a lawyer for employees, “What advice would you give my clients that would keep their employees from suing them?” Without hesitation, he spoke of his father, a surgeon, and the widely-known wisdom that it’s not medical mistakes that get doctors sued; it’s a poor bedside manner. “The same thing applies to employers,” the lawyer said. “If you don’t express concern and communicate well, employees will sue you, even if you didn’t do anything wrong.” It reminded me of advice another plaintiff’s lawyer gave me once when I asked the same question: “When you fire them, tell them the reason. If you don’t, they’ll come to my office and we’ll make up a reason.”
EEOC Harassment Training
EEOC announced in October 2017 that it will launch two new trainings for employers: Leading for Respect (for supervisors, four hours, $1,750) and Respect in the Workplace (for all employees, three hours, $1,325). The trainings, conducted by EEOC Training Institute staff, focus on respect and acceptable workplace conduct rather than on what you cannot do. EEOC says there are more than 12,000 allegations of sex-based harassment filed each year, with women accounting for about 83 percent of the complainants (most of the others are male on male). That figure is believed to be but the tip of the iceberg. A study issued in 2016 found that roughly three of four people experiencing such harassment never tell anyone in authority about it. Typically, they said, what women do is “avoid the harasser, deny or downplay the gravity of the situation, or attempt to ignore, forget or endure the behavior.”
USCIS released video vignettes on the updated Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, on September 29, 2017. These three short videos help employees complete Section 1 of Form I-9, and they help employers or authorized agents complete Sections 2 and 3. Each video gives examples and important information on how to complete most fields, and they display completed screen shots of each section. They are available in English and Spanish with captioning.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that one-third of millennials feel comfortable discussing their pay with co-workers, about four times the rate of baby boomers. This is one more good reason to make equitable pay decisions.
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