Preventing Appearance-Based Discrimination: Legal Guidelines For Protecting Religious And Cultural Groups
|Date / Time:
An employee for a New York-based home domestics store grew out his beard as part of his Muslim faith. He claimed that HR questioned him about his beliefs, coworkers repeatedly called him a “terrorist,” and he was fired for discriminatory reasons, so he filed suit against the retailer.
Given the current political climate and threats to homeland security both in the United States and abroad, harassment over dress and grooming at work, particularly for protected classes, is an increasingly hot topic.
Establishing an anti-harassment policy is simply not enough. HR must be proactive about training both supervisors and employees, responding promptly to allegations of harassment, and conducting thorough investigations.
Failing to address and correct harassment on the basis of one’s national origin, religion, or other protected class status can have dire legal and financial consequences. To date for 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has already reached settlements related to workplace harassment to the jaw-dropping tune of $1.02 million.
Join us when Usama Kahf, an attorney with Fisher & Phillips, will examine how to establish a harassment-free workplace environment when it comes to protected classes, how to respond promptly to complaints, and how to avoid catastrophic legal pitfalls.
About Your Presenter
- The legal definition of harassment and “hostile work environment”
- The different types of workplace harassment
- What Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 says, and how it applies to religious discrimination in the workplace
- Under what circumstances an employer is obligated to accommodate an employee’s religious practice or belief
- What can happen if the harasser is a coworker and the employer didn’t know about the harassment
- Legal issues you’re likely to face if the harasser is a supervisor
- What constitutes an “adverse employment action”
- What happens if an employer questions if an employee’s religious beliefs are sincerely held
- How to protect your organization against liability by providing reasonable solutions for employees who complain of harassment
- What employers should do about customers who discriminate against their employees
- How to handle conflicts between religious dress and so-called corporate “image”
- The keys to avoiding retaliation complaints resulting from workplace harassment
- Why the EEOC wants you to use social media and other digital tools to create a harassment-free workplace—and what this means in actual practice
Usama Kahf, Esq.
Fisher & Phillips LLP
Usama Kahf represents and counsels employers in all aspects of labor and employment law, including wage & hour, harassment, discrimination, retaliation, employee discipline and termination, and trade secrets. He also regularly advises clients on data security breaches and prevention, workplace investigations, and employee classification issues, as well as on document retention and preservation obligations under state and federal law. He was selected for inclusion in 2013, 2014, and 2015 Southern California Super Lawyers, “Rising Stars.”
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|Licenses / Designations / Educational Credits:||PHR / SPHR Re-Certification Credits|
All US States: 1.5
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|Keywords For This Course:|
discrimination, workplace harassment, EEOC
Reasonable Accommodation - Impairment
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