California employers must provide a minimum two-hour training session on preventing sexual harassment in 2011. Under AB 1825, each employer is required to train supervisors to avoid sexual harassment in the workplace at least every two years. Employers with 50 or more employees can avoid tracking training of individual employees if they conduct company-wide training for supervisors during one calendar year. Because AB 1825 went into effect in 2005, the training takes place in odd-numbered years for most employers.
According to attorney David Goldman, employers should focus particularly on retaliation in the AB 1825 training. That is because complaints of retaliation increased 49% between 2006 and 2009. By comparison, charges of sexual harassment increased only 5% during the same period.
In particular, employers need to make supervisors aware that taking any negative action against an employee who files a discrimination or sexual harassment complaint in good faith is illegal retaliation. Common forms of retaliation can range from ostracizing the employee, to demoting or terminating the employee on trumped-up grounds. Even when a discrimination complaint is determined to be unfounded, retaliation against the employee is illegal. An employer can legally take negative action only against an employee who is found to have committed fraud when making the complaint of discrimination.
Employers in New York City have even greater liability for random acts by rouge managers, than in other parts of the country under a recent court ruling that makes it even more difficult for New York employers to defend against charges of illegal discrimination.
The New York Court of Appeals ruled in Zakrzewska v. the New School that simply having an anti-discrimination policy in place is not enough to prevent successful claims. In that suit, Dominika Zakrzewska alleges that she was sexually harassed while a student at The New School. In 2003, Zakrzewska began working in the school computer lab as a freshman. Her immediate supervisor, Kwang-Wen Pan, sent (more…)
The deadline for employers’ compliance with changes to the I-9 form is April 3, 2009.
Action by the new Presidential administration has helped the cause of those seeking a delay. Numerous employment law and regulatory deadlines put into action by the Bush Administration during its final months were postponed recently. Chief of Staff of the White House, Rahm Emmanuel, put out a memo urging federal agencies to take an additional 60 or 90 days to review all of those policies. The intention was to insure that the policies would be consistent with the standards of President Barack Obama.
On August 5, 2008, New York Governor David Paterson signed legislation that requires employers to post a copy of Article 23 A of the correction law relating to the employment of persons with a criminal conviction.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC recently issued a comprehensive question-and-answer guide that clarifies performance and conduct issues under ADA, the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The document addressing a wide variety of problems, is available in its entirety at www.eeoc.gov/facts/performance-conduct.html.
However, the ADA and Rehabilitation Act generally do not impinge (more…)