Anti-Harassment Policies

News & Analysis as of

New Laws and Court Decisions Should Prompt Review of Employee Handbooks for Most Employers

Handbooks in light of several recent legislative actions and judicial decisions. Employers should generally review and update Employee Handbooks as necessary on a yearly basis, but numerous changes will be necessary for most...more

“Super” Anti-Harassment Policy May Create Unanticipated Liability

Ordinarily, employers think of anti-harassment policies as a means of defending themselves against harassment claims rather than a source of liability. However, a recent decision from a U.S. District Court in Connecticut...more

Employer’s Super Anti-Harassment Policy May Increase Its Liability

A federal court in Connecticut recently concluded that a fired employee could have a valid disability harassment claim based on statements prohibiting all harassment contained in the employer’s personnel manual. The company...more

Status Updates - December 2014 #3

Block party. Twitter has revamped its anti-harassment policies to make it easier to report harassment on the network or to block another account. The change follows recent highly-publicized instances of “Twitter harassment,”...more

Employer's "Super Policy" Against Harassment Requires Employer to Protect Employee Beyond That Which is Required by Law

A Costco employee suffered from Tourette's syndrome, and made complaints to management about the way his supervisors and others were treating him. He later filed charges with the Connecticut Human Rights Organization as well...more

California Employers Must Now Include Training against "Abusive Conduct" in AB 1825 Sexual Harassment Training for Supervisors

Last week, Governor Brown signed legislation that adds a new component to the required AB 1825 sexual harassment training for supervisors. Starting January 1, 2015, AB 1825 anti-harassment training must also include training...more

Unpaid Interns Are Now Protected Against Discrimination and Harassment

On September 9, 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed A.B. 1443, which extends the state’s anti-harassment and anti-discrimination protections to unpaid interns. Employers are now prohibited from discrimination...more

My “Momma Bear” Is Coming Out: Cyber Bullies Prove Social Media Training Needs An Anti-Harassment Element

More than 50% of teens have experienced cyber bullying. Parents have historically looked to their children’s schools and local government to address the issue, but what about the social media sites which contribute to the...more

The “Dirty Dozen”: Top 12 employer harassment mistakes

According to statistics collected by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, harassment charges have stayed relatively stable over the past three years, and the number of “cause” determinations has actually declined....more

Fourth Circuit Says Co-Worker's Use of Racially Derogative Terms Did Not Create Hostile Work Environment

Not every offensive act in the workplace constitutes actionable harassment under Title VII. In order to rise to the level of a hostile and offensive working environment, the conduct must be sufficiently severe and pervasive...more

Think Third Party Harassment Can’t Harm You? Think Again

On April 29, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s ruling of Freeman v. Dal-Tile Corp., No. 13-1481, 2014 WL 1678422 (4th Cir. Apr. 29, 2014) addressed third-party harassment. The Court held...more

5 Elements You Should Look for in an Effective Harassment and Discrimination Training Program

Do your employees know your policies? Are you absolutely sure they understand how they can treat – and how they cannot treat – their fellow employees? Well according to some new research, it’s more critical than ever that you...more

Employment Law Checkup 2014

Each year usually starts with a lot of resolutions and good intentions that fall by the wayside, mostly for lack of a plan. One resolution of all employers should be to update their policies and practices to comply with the...more

Hot Employment Topics For 2014- Part VII: Same-Sex Workplace Harassment-The Hazards of a "Boys Will Be Boys" Policy

This is the seventh and last of a seven-part series describing "Hot Employment Topics for 2014." Part VII focuses upon "Same-Sex Workplace Harassment." The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently...more

Anti-Discrimination Laws Going “Intern”-ational? New York City Extends Its Human Rights Law to Unpaid Interns

As we reported last October, a federal court in New York found that an unpaid intern could not bring a hostile work environment sexual harassment claim pursuant to the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”). (Wang v....more

Employment Newsletter - March 2014: Practical Tips on Creating an Effective Unlawful Harassment Policy

It has been a long time since the 1991 Clarence Thomas Supreme Court confirmation hearings brought the issue of sexual harassment to the forefront of public consciousness. Hundreds of thousands of unlawful harassment claims...more

New Jersey Supreme Court To Revisit Employer Liability For Sexual Harassment By Supervisors

On November 6, 2013, the New Jersey Supreme Court granted certification in Aguas v. State of New Jersey, 2013 WL 1136115 (App. Div. Mar. 20, 2013), a pro-employer ruling on the issue of employer liability for sexual...more

Off the Playground, Out of the Locker Room, and into the Office: How to Combat Workplace Bullies

The Miami Dolphins recently have come under intense scrutiny amid allegations that coaches encouraged defensive guard Richie Icognito to bully teammate Jonathan Martin in an effort to “toughen” him up. The alleged bullying...more

Employment Law Advisory for September 25, 2013: Anti-Harassment Training Due in 2013 for Many Employers

California law not only prohibits discrimination and harassment, it also requires certain employers (those that receive services from 50 or more persons, including both employees or independent contractors) to provide formal...more

Ontario Court of Appeal Clarifies When Workplace Harassment Constitutes Constructive Dismissal

The Court of Appeal’s decision in General Motors of Canada Limited v Johnson does not break any new ground in the law of constructive dismissal. But against the backdrop of Bill 168 (the Violence and Harassment in the...more

Labor Letter, August 2013: Make Your No-Harassment Policy Less Sexy

In recent years, many high-profile workplace-harassment lawsuits have grabbed headlines, complete with lewd and salacious allegations. Sexual harassment is indeed a form of gender discrimination and courts have issued many...more

The Nasty Side of Social Media…And What Employers Can Learn From It

It spread, as these things tend to do today, like a virus around 10 p.m. last night. “None [sic] cares about you. Go kill yourself. Maybe you’ll succeed this time.”...more

U.S. Supreme Court Limits Employer Liability In Title VII Supervisory Harassment Cases

In a significant decision issued on June 24, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court held that employers are vicariously liable for unlawful harassment committed by a supervisor only if the supervisor is empowered by the employer to...more

What the DOMA Decision Means for Your Workplace

Unless you are on a news media embargo, you have probably heard the news by now. The United States Supreme Court today issued a watershed ruling regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the law barring the federal...more

Mexican Federal Labor Law Reform: What Companies Doing Business in Mexico Need to Know

Mexico’s new Federal Labor Law (FLL) took effect on December 1, 2012. The reform seeks to modernize Mexico’s labor law. The new FLL’s major, employment related amendments include increased regulation of outsourcing jobs,...more

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