Corporate Law Report: Workplace Romances, FMLA Changes, California Tax News, and More
Do 'Love Contracts' Ease the Risks of Office Relationships?
In Aguas v. State of New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court recently adopted an affirmative defense—available under federal law since 1998—allowing employers to use their anti-harassment policies to limit vicarious...more
In modern employment litigation, the employer’s ultimate goal is to prevail at summary judgment, thereby avoiding the expense of trial and the unpredictability of a jury. A recent decision from the Fourth Circuit Court of...more
In most circumstances, employers are vicariously liable for sexual or other harassment engaged in by their supervisors. Under the Supreme Court’s Faragher/Ellerth defense, employers can sometimes avoid liability for...more
Last week, the New Jersey Supreme Court analyzed the impact of an employer’s anti-harassment policy on an employee’s claims of negligence, recklessness and vicarious liability against employers under the New Jersey Law...more
The New Jersey Supreme Court recently ruled that an employer may assert an effective and enforced anti-harassment policy as an affirmative defense in cases brought against the employer alleging that a supervisor engaged in...more
A Craigslist conviction. The highest court in Massachusetts upheld the conviction under the Bay State’s anti-harassment statute of a couple who posted fake Craigslist advertisements that caused a great deal of trouble for...more
While the year is still young, here are 15 New Year’s resolutions that employers may want to make:
1. Make sure your “independent contractors” are really independent contractors. ”Independent contractors” are under...more
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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