Many lawyers know that an entire case can turn on a simple word. Sometimes, the interpretation of phrase can greatly influence how a specific law is interpreted. In recent news, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide the following issue, which concerns an issue of interpretation: Should employers be liable for their supervisors' harassment only when the supervisor oversees the employee, or must the supervisor have the authority to hire and fire the employee? All of this depends on one's definition of "supervisor."
Government policy has supported the idea that employers who make hiring decisions based on a person's criminal record might be illegally discriminating against the applicant. Many small businesses, however, still do not know that there is anything wrong with using criminal records in the hiring process.
Over the years, federal and state legislators have worked to pass laws against employment harassment and discrimination. As a result of these efforts, the United States has some of the most efficient laws. These federal laws prohibit employment discrimination and harassment on the basis of factors such as race and gender.
Almost half of the states have laws in place that prohibit discrimination in workplaces based on an employee's sexual orientation. In Indianapolis, there are specific protections guaranteed for public employees against sexual preference discrimination. In recent national news, an employee of a children's home claimed she was discharged from her position because she is a lesbian. She has filed an employment discrimination complaint with her state's employment commission and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The Americans with Disabilities Act applies to businesses with 15 or more employees and is intended to protect people with disabilities from discrimination. A couple of years ago, Congress said the courts were defining the term "disability" too narrowly and then-President George Bush signed into law amendments to the ADA that broadened the definition of a disability, potentially benefiting many workers in Indiana.
As many Indiana residents know, unlawful harassment in the workplace can be based upon your age, race, national origin, religion or sex. Unfortunately, such workplace harassment occurs all too often.
In Indiana, you have a right to be free from harassment in the workplace. Unlawful harassment can be based upon your age, national origin, race, religion or sex. Sexual harassment, which is illegal, might include an employer caressing your shoulders, inappropriate comments by co-workers or conduct that creates an uncomfortable or hostile workplace.
Many Illinois residents would agree that one should not be fired from a position for reporting any maltreatment of employees in a working environment. Actually--this practice is against the law. Any adverse action that a company takes against an employee for expressing a complaint about discrimination is considered retaliation. It does not matter whether or not the discrimination was actually occurring.