Lessons for Investigators from Studies of Judicial Decisions

I sometimes train company managers how to investigate claims of discrimination or harassment.  The most thoughtful students, especially if they’ve had some prior experience conducting investigations, eventually present this concern:  What if both sides seem to be telling the truth?  How can I know which way I should decide?  How can I make sure I […]

Implicit Bias

Implicit association, or implicit bias, is best explained through analogy. Suppose I handed you a deck of standard playing cards, and asked you to quickly sort the cards by suit, with hearts and diamonds in one pile and clubs and spades in another. Readers who easily distinguish red from black would find this easy, and […]

Pending Federal Minimum Wage and Overtime Requirements for Home Care Workers Struck Down

On Wednesday, January 14, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated Department of Labor (“DOL”) regulations that would have extended the minimum wage and overtime requirements imposed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) to most home care employees across the country. Home Care Association et al v. Weil, 14-cv-967 (D.D.C. Jan. 14, […]

Assessing and Promoting Honesty in a Workforce

A study reported in the December 4, 2014 issue of the journal Nature offers an interesting framework for discussing honesty in an employment context.  Although I disagree with the researchers about their methods and inferences, I still think their study reveals something interesting about human behavior; I also agree that further investigation is needed in […]

As the Department of Justice, EEOC, and OFCCP Determine That Transgender Discrimination is an Actionable Form of Sex Discrimination, Employers Should Take Steps to Avoid Facing Such Claims

Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced the Department of Justice’s official position that Title VII’s definition of unlawful sex discrimination includes discrimination based on gender identity and transgender status.  According to the DOJ, Title VII ‘s prohibition against discrimination “because of” an employee’s sex must – under the plain meaning of those words – encompass discrimination […]

How Research Into Moral Thinking May Affect Management Strategies

A study on people’s moral perceptions in daily life that was reported last fall in the journal Science may bring a fresh perspective to workplace ethics.  As illustrated by the study, people sometimes emphasize very different sets of moral concepts when assessing a situation, and in a way that seems to correlate with their political […]