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In most states, it is unlawful to discriminate in the terms and conditions of employment on the basis of a person's race, gender, national origin, age, religion, veteran status, or disability. In fourteen states, it is also unlawful to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Unlawful discrimination includes the harassment of a person because he or she is a member of a protected group.

In order for harassment to constitute unlawful discrimination, it typically must be sufficiently severe or pervasive, have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the employee's work performance, and create a hostile or abusive work environment. Sexual harassment, for example, may include unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature such as leering, inappropriate touching, or offensive emails, jokes, or cartoons.

 
Statistic
 

In the Spring of 2004, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) won a $54 million award against Wall Street firm Morgan Stanley for denying promotions to more than 400 women. The EEOC has reported increases in private sector discrimination filings in both 2002 and 2003 with total monetary benefits of $148 million in 2003.

 

Successful employers have realized that the adoption of sound anti-discrimination and harassment policies, combined with effective discrimination prevention training, helps create an environment of mutual respect in the workplace and substantially limits the likelihood of costly and damaging lawsuits. In addition, an employer may be able to take advantage of an "affirmative defense" when it has exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct harassing behavior.

Just Training Solutions, LLC, provides Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Prevention workshops that help employers remain productive and successful in today's competitive environment. Our training sessions typically focus on: implementing a policy mutual respect in the workplace; specific examples of conduct prohibited under both the employer's policies and State and Federal anti-discrimination laws; communication techniques among coworkers, and between employees and supervisors; and, a review of how to report and respond to complaints of alleged prohibited conduct. The training is designed to increase mutual respect, efficiency, and productivity in the workplace, and thus reduce complaints, discipline, morale issues, and costly litigation.