Workplace harassment and discrimination are becoming more complicated as employers embrace workers from more diverse backgrounds. To further complicate harassment and discrimination issues, employers must often accommodate employees without creating a harassing or discriminatory work environment for other workers. It is increasingly important for employers to remain aware of their obligations and to take steps to ensure that their supervisors are sensitive to the legal requirements prohibiting harassment and discrimination, and to ensure that those supervisors respond appropriately to employee conduct and requests.
This section is designed to provide an overview of current obligations regarding prohibiting harassment and discrimination based on protected class status, such as sex, race, religion, disability, national origin and ancestry, as well as an employer’s obligations to accommodate an employee’s disabilities or religious beliefs. An employer’s failure to provide a workplace free of discrimination or harassment, or failure to provide reasonable accommodations, can result in substantial liability to the employer.