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Unlawful Harassment - Employer Liability

Introduction

1. The employer may be able to avoid liability or limit damages by establishing an affirmative defense that includes which necessary elements?

A. The employer exercised reasonable care to prevent any harassing behavior.

B. The employer exercised reasonable care to promptly correct any harassing behavior.

C. The employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventative or corrective opportunities provided by the employer or to avoid harm otherwise.

D. All of the above.


2. While the anti-discrimination statutes seek to remedy discrimination, their primary purpose is to prevent violations.

A. True

B. False


3. The question of liability arises only after there is a determination that unlawful harassment occurred.

A. True

B. False


4. Harassment does not violate federal law unless it involves discriminatory treatment on the basis of which of the following?

A. Religion

B. Age of 40 or older

C. Sex

D. All of the above


5. The anti-discrimination statues are a general civility code, therefore federal law prohibits teasing and offhand comments.

A. True

B. False


Who Qualifies as a Supervisor?

6. The determination as to whether a harasser has the authority of a supervisor is based on his or her job title.

A. True

B. False


7. Which of the following is considered a tangible employment decision?

A. Hiring

B. Firing

C. Demoting

D. All of the above


Harassment by Supervisor That Results in a Tangible Employment Action

8. Altering an individual’s job title does not qualify as a tangible employment action if the only effect is which of the following?

A. Change in salary

B. Change in benefits

C. A bruised ego

D. Change of duties


Harassment by Supervisor That Does Not Result in a Tangible Employment Action

9. The employer will be liable if which of the following takes place?

A. An employer cannot prove that it discharged its duty of reasonable care.

B. The employee unreasonably failed to avoid the harm.

C. An employer cannot prove that it discharged its duty of reasonable care and the employee unreasonably failed to avoid the harm.

D. There was a witness.


10. How often should an employer redistribute copies of the policy and complaint procedure that it provided to every employee?

A. Periodically

B. Monthly

C. Yearly

D. None of the above


11. The prohibition should cover harassment by supervisors, co-workers, or non-employees.

A. True

B. False


12. A complaint procedure should be rigid so that everyone involved knows what to expect and the steps for taking action are laid out clearly.

A. True

B. False


13. If a fact-finding investigation is necessary, it should be scheduled for 6 to 12 weeks post this determination to give everyone adequate time to prepare.

A. True

B. False


14. Which of the following is not an example of a measure to take before completing the investigation to ensure that further harassment does not occur?

A. Make scheduling changes so as to avoid contact between the parties.

B. Immediately transfer the complainant regardless of their desire to do so in order to avoid a lawsuit.

C. Transfer the alleged harasser.

D. Place the alleged harasser on non-disciplinary leave with pay pending the conclusion of the investigation.


15. The fact that there are no eye-witnesses to the alleged harassment does not necessarily defeat the complainant’s credibility.

A. True

B. False


16. An employer who exercised reasonable care is not liable for unlawful harassment if the aggrieved employee could have avoided all of the actionable harm.

A. True

B. False


17. Since an employee who failed to use any complaint procedure provided by the employer will satisfy the employer’s burden, an employee who failed to complain carries the burden of proving the reasonableness of that decision.

A. True

B. False


18. While an employee can be expected to cooperate in the employer’s investigation by providing relevant information, an employee can never be required to waive rights, either substantive or procedural, as an element of his or her exercise of reasonable care.

A. True

B. False


Small Employers on Employer Liability for Harassment by Supervisors

19. Depending on the state in which the allegation arises, the deadline for filing the EEOC charges is _____ days after the last date of alleged harassment.

A. 30 or 90

B. 180 or 300

C. 90 or 180

D. 90 or 300


20. The deadline for filing the EEOC charges can be extended for the purpose of an employer’s internal investigation of the complaint.

A. True

B. False


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