The Limits of Religious Expression at Work: When Should Supervisors Step in?

Employees have the right to express their religious beliefs (or lack-thereof) at work, but at what point does it cross the line of faithful religious practice into harassment? In this Quick Take you’ll learn four kinds of common religious expression in the workplace that you should generally tolerate, three situations when you have a right to limit or prohibit employees’ religious expression, and a quick test to help you tell the difference between acceptable and unacceptable religious expression.

The ‘Self-Check’ Technique for Revealing Unconscious Bias

Did you know discrimination lawsuits have risen 268% over the past 15 years? That’s 9 times faster than any other type of employee lawsuit. In this presentation, we provide a roadmap to the Self-Check Technique for unconscious bias. You will learn why unconscious bias is the leading cause of discrimination lawsuits and what you can do to prevent them.

How to Avoid Hiring Lawsuits: The Bias-Free Questioning Model

As a hiring manager you need to dig to learn all you can about a candidate. Unfortunately, the more you learn about a person, the higher your risk of provoking a discrimination lawsuit. When you DON’T know a candidate is pregnant, a recovering alcoholic, or a member of some other protected class, it would be hard for someone to claim that you asked discriminatory interview questions. So how do you learn what you need to know about a potential hire without exposing yourself to legal risk? In this Quick Take you will learn: The 'Bias-Free Questioning Model'; what questions in job interviews could cause a lawsuit in The Big Six areas of discrimination (Disability, Age, Gender, National Origin, Race and Religion); and why job descriptions are key to reducing your legal exposure in the hiring process..

Language Discrimination in the Workplace

What should you do if employees complain that one of their coworker’s is hard to communicate with because of a heavy accent or poor English skills? What if customers also complain? Can you simply fire the employee? In this Quick Take, you’ll learn what you can legally expect of employees in the way of language ability and fluency, the two main traps that lead to illegal discrimination based on language and how to tell when a language issue needs attention, and when it doesn’t.

Family Responsibilities Discrimination: Balancing Work and Family

Work and family issues can put supervisors in a tough spot. They have to balance what’s best for their employees, what’s best for the organization and what’s fair to other employees. They also have to consider the law – because work-and-family issues can lead to legal claims and lawsuits alleging 'family responsibilities discrimination' -- or FRD. In this Quick Take, you’ll learn what supervisors must do – and must not do -- when workers have care-giving responsibilities at home and three false assumptions about family responsibilities that can get supervisors in legal trouble.

Pregnancy Discrimination: What Every Supervisor Must Know

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 requires that 'women affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment related purposes … as other persons not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work.' In this Quick Take, you’ll learn what the law means by 'equal treatment' for pregnant workers and applicants; a handy rule of thumb to make sure you don’t discriminate against a pregnant employee or job applicant, and four common legal pitfalls that you may face with pregnant employees and applicants.

English-Only Rules: What’s Legal and What’s Not

With today’s workforce becoming increasingly diverse and multi-lingual, employers are faced with a question: 'Can we, or should we, establish an English-only rule?' It’s a complex question because it encompasses so many issues, including customer relations, workforce communication, safety, morale and the law. In this Quick Take you will learn what questions to ask before establishing a policy, two traps you can fall into when enforcing English-only rules, the one way you can be sure an English-only rule is legal, and four examples of legally permissible English-only rules.

Racial and National Origin Discrimination: What Every Supervisor Must Know

Every manager knows that racial jokes or refusing to promote or work with someone because of his or her ethnic background can lead to discrimination or harassment claims. Those kinds of behaviors are pretty easy to identify. But there are some gray areas where people can do or say things that could violate others’ rights and get the organization in expensive legal trouble. In this Quick Take, you’ll learn three examples of racial and national origin discrimination and harassment that many supervisors would never spot, and two simple questions you can ask to detect subtle discrimination or harassment that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Age Discrimination: What Every Manager Needs to Know

An older worker’s physical condition MIGHT prevent him or her from doing certain jobs. But you must make that call based on an assessment of the worker’s ACTUAL condition and abilities. When managers and supervisors stereotype or make assumptions about what older workers can and can’t do, they expose the organization to avoidable legal risk. In this Quick Take, you’ll learn the intent behind federal age discrimination law, the four main ways managers violate the age discrimination law, and a question that will help you avoid breaking the law.

Religious Accommodation – What Every Supervisor Must Know

Of all the conversations you have in the workplace, discussions about religion are among the most challenging. Yet you must have those discussions when an employee asks you to accommodate his or her religious beliefs. In this Quick Take, you will learn how even well-intentioned managers can make hiring and promotion decisions that expose them to liability for religious discrimination, what the law requires when an employee asks for a religious accommodation, a critical error that can land you in court when you get such requests and four rules that can help you respond to these requests correctly.


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