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dealer advocacy & governmental affairs


Ignore Discrimination and Harassment at Your Own Peril


By WILL ROGERS, Director of Government Affairs [willr@ineda.com]


The headlines say it all: “Jury Awards $4.5 Million to Former Grinnell Hospital Worker in Age Discrimination Suit,” “Nebraska Prison Guard’s Bias Lawsuit Settled for $777,000,” “Iowa to Pay $6.5M to Settle Landmark Sports Bias Lawsuits,” “Retailer Bass Pro Agrees to $10.5 Million Settlement with EEOC.”


One of the fastest growing areas of litigation across the U.S. has been lawsuits filed against employers by a worker claiming they have been discriminated against or harassed in the workplace. Often the lawsuit claims that the perpetrator of discrimination or harassment is a manager, supervisor or another employee. And in some cases, harassment claims have been made against someone from outside the company organization, such as a customer or angry family member of an employee.


In 2017, there were over 167,000 lawsuits filed by employees claiming discrimination or harassment – this figure doesn’t include countless complaints that didn’t result in litigation. This uptick in employment discrimination lawsuits can be attributed to an increased awareness by employees of illegal activity and treatment.


As an employer you should be aware of every category where you could potentially face litigation. Below are some of the categories where a discrimination claim can be made:


• Age (Over 40) • Disability • Equal Pay or Compensation • Genetic Information • Gender • Harassment • National Origin


• Pregnancy • Race/Color • Religious Beliefs • Retaliation • Sexual Harassment • Sexual Orientation


Regardless of whether the discrimination is caused by you, the employer, or by another worker, you are still responsible for monitoring, managing and helping prevent discrimination in your workplace.


30 | The Retailer Magazine | Mar/Apr


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