The New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights has released data on discrimination charges filed by employees in 2013. Last year, the Commission received 222 discrimination charges against employers. This number was slightly down from the year before at 257. Retaliation across all categories topped the list at 93 claims. Following closly behind with 89 charges was disability discrimination. There were 64 claims based on sex discrimination and 31 claims based on age. Of the sex discrimination claims, the charges included 17 gender, 36 harassment, and 11 pregnancy.
The Commission found probable cause to proceed with a hearing in 3 cases — 2 for disability discrimination and 1 for sex (pregnancy) discrimination. No probable cause was found in 37 of the cases. Additionally, 13 cases were removed to federal court; 34 were removed by the complainant to state court and 2 were removed by the respondent to state court. The Commission closed 199 cases in 2013.
With the report of these statistics, it is a good time for employers to review, redistribute, and reinforce their anti-harassment and non-discrimination policies to all employees. Employers should confirm their handbooks cover all protected categories under federal and state laws. Companies should also provide training for employees on their nondiscrimination and anti-harassment policies. Supervisors and managers need to be trained on the policies as well as receive an overview of the laws relevant to the workplace. All of these steps can help companies safeguard against liability for harassment and discrimination in the workplace.