When world events hit the workplace

December 16, 2012 0 COMMENTS

by Mark Schickman

Statistics from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission show that charges of discrimination based on religion and national origin are the fastest growing categories in the past decade. Of course, that coincides with the aftermath of 9/11 and, rational or not, American anger and suspicions over Middle Eastern Arab communities. This shift in public mood creates a problem for HR professionals, whose job it is to ensure a workplace free from discrimination and harassment―a prejudice-free island in an ocean littered with group hatred. That’s no easy job, as United Parcel Service (UPS) was reminded recently. read more…

Ninth Circuit Reinstates Male Worker’s Harassment Claim

November 14, 2010 2 COMMENTS

A federal trial court in Nevada apparently couldn’t believe that a woman’s sexual overtures to a male coworker would ever be unwelcome and rejected the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) attempt to file a harassment suit on his behalf. But in a recent decision, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) disagreed. Sexual harassment laws protect men on the same basis as women.

Woman Preys on Male Coworker

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Nine Years Later: Religion and National Origin in the Workplace

September 19, 2010 0 COMMENTS

For a week, the nation’s news reporters were captivated by a Florida preacher’s plans to burn the Quran on the anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Although he ultimately backed down, his campaign and the heated debates and protests over planned mosques near ground zero and in other parts of the country have drawn attention to the fact that many Americans harbor resentment, anger, and fear toward the Muslim community.

Many Muslims have commented that they feel more in danger and stereotyped than they did immediately after the September 11 attacks, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has the statistics to back up those feelings. Between September 11, 2001, and May 7, 2002, the EEOC received 497 discrimination charges on the basis of Muslim religion (up from 193 a year earlier). The number has risen steadily in recent years — from 697 claims in 2004 and 1,034 claims in 2008 to 1,490 claims in 2009.

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