National Seminars Group
National Seminars Group presents

Preventing and Handling Workplace Harassment and Discrimination On-Site Training

This on-site training class is also available as Public Schedule Seminar.

Are you 100% sure your company isn't headed for a discrimination or harassment lawsuit?

Course Description/Agenda

How the Courts Are Defining Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation

  • Social purposes of discrimination laws, and the nature of protected classes
  • Important differences among the laws
    • Definitions of discrimination, forms of harassment, retaliation
    • The key distinction between unpleasant and unlawful
    • The difference between harassment and discrimination - when harassment turns into unlawful discrimination or discrimination is combined with harassment
  • State law implications - additional protected classes and common-law actions against individuals (supervisors and coworkers), not just organizations

Delve Deeper: A Look at the 9 Federal Protected Classes

  • Race discrimination - most often cited, combination charges (race and sex, race and religion, race and national origin, race and color)
  • National origin discrimination combined with religion discrimination cases following September 11
  • How the ADEA differs from Title VII and what that means in practical terms for employers
  • Distinction between sexual harassment and gender discrimination
  • Changes to the Equal Pay Act (EPA) and implications for hiring and compensation/performance management
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) - the surprising difference between the PDA mandates and employer practices creating legal obligations
  • Religion and a lesser reasonable accommodation standard
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA changed the legal landscape
  • Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) - a true preference and not just a level playing field law
  • Genetic information discrimination (GINA) and ADAAA intersections
  • The new discrimination danger areas - family responsibilities discrimination charges (FRD), sexual orientation issues following DOMA's demise

Unlawful Harassment: If You Think It's Just Sexual Harassment, You Could Be in Big Trouble Soon

  • Articulating the economic and other impacts of harassment on the victim, the harasser, and the organization
  • Unlawful harassment - following Oncale v. Sundowner
  • Is it just in bad taste or unlawful harassment? The difference between conduct that may be inappropriate (bullying, teasing, jokes) and that which is unlawful
    • Understand and apply the reasonable person standard to determine whether a hostile work environment exists
  • Two forms of unlawful harassment - compare the differences - Quid pro quo lawsuits
  • Vance v. Ball State: How is a "supervisor" now defined for the purposes of workplace harassment claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?
    • Hostile work environment
  • On notice? Know or should have known: warning signs that something is going wrong!
  • Assess and reduce the risk factors for quid pro quo and hostile work environment sexual harassment
  • The harasser - what to do when
    • One team member harasses another
    • Subordinate/manager harassment (reverse)
    • Peer-manager harassment - or harassment by a very senior manager
    • Outside third-party harassment: patient, vendor, or customer
  • Virtual harassment - dealing with email, texts, social media, blogs, etc.
  • Addressing special circumstances - consensual relationships/equal employment opportunity jerks/paramour problems

Exploring Retaliation - The Fastest-Growing Segment of EEOC Litigation

  • Legal standard: University of Texas Southern Medical Center v. Nassar Supreme Court case requiring the use of the but-for higher standard to prove retaliation, elimination of the mixed motive theory, impact on 2006 liberal case White v. Burlington Northern Railway
  • Dealing with disciplinary issues of otherwise protected employees
  • Avoiding employee retaliation lawsuits that may result from harassment or discrimination claims

Federal Contractors: Executive Order 11246

  • The difference between anti-discrimination and affirmative action obligations
  • Overview of contractor obligations
    • Section 503 Rehabilitation Act changes and the impacts on employer responsibilities and hiring goals
    • Employer hiring responsibilities under Section 4212 of Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974 (VEVRAA
    • Qualified applicant definition - the four-prong test for an individual who answers an online job posting
  • Making the business case (or not) for assuming federal obligations
  • Avoiding an OFCCP audit Creating Solid, Proven, and Legally Sound Anti-Discrimination and Harassment Policies and Practices
  • Defining prohibited behaviors: discrimination harassment, retaliation
  • Determining policy scope for multistate employers
  • Provide reporting obligations and complaint mechanisms
  • Make judgment calls about zero-tolerance policies and mandatory reporters
  • Define supervisory (agent) responsibilities

Investigating and Responding to Complaints or When on Notice

  • A complaint vs. notice - how to address the non-complaining victim
  • Understanding the real privacy rules governing investigations (you may be surprised ...)
  • Conducting an internal investigation with discretion/no promises of confidentiality
  • Preserving Section 7 NLRA collective action rights
  • Questioning strategies to use when interviewing alleged victims, harassers, and witnesses
  • When to discipline/terminate those found guilty of sexual harassment
  • Addressing inconclusive findings

The Best Practices You Can Implement Today to Help Avoid Litigation

  • Creating a discrimination-free workplace when recruiting, hiring, managing, disciplining, promoting, and firing employees
  • Tips for preventing unconscious employment discrimination documentation: warning, performance appraisal, and other performance management notices
  • Performing a regular analysis of the organization's HR practices (and understanding the scope of attorney-client privilege)
  • Training supervisors and employees - with or without a legal mandate
    • Defusing disrespectful or compromising situations before they rise to the level of unlawful
    • Assertively communicating feelings and putting harassers on notice
    • What to do if you witness or become a victim of harassing behavior
    • Using experiential learning: role plays, case studies, and other training situations to increase employee awareness of workplace diversity
    • Responding appropriately when a complaint has been filed against you
    • Documentation: applicant flow, promotions flow, and termination flow logs

SPECIAL SECTION: A Step-By-Step Guide to Investigating and Responding to an EEO Charge

  • Procedure chart, legal standard, practical implications (prima facie case, shifting burden of proof, etc.)
  • Responding to an EEO complaint effectively - length of position statement, preventing admissions against interest
  • Instituting a ligation hold
  • Preventing overbroad waivers in settlement agreements
  • Use of EEOC mediation services

More Seminar Information

National Seminars Group
National Seminars Group

Delivery Method

On-Site Training On-Site Training

Also Available As

Seminar Seminar

Add to favorites Add to favorites
Email Email this page

On-Site Training
Information Request Form

Please complete the form for more information and/or a quote for this on-site class.




City and State


Number of students:
(at least 10 for consideration)

When do you want to hold the

How long would you like for the

Additional comments to trainer:

We value your privacy!