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Human Rights Commission Looking for Early Information From Claimants

Representing defendants in claims before the Maine Human Rights Commission can be frustrating because the allegedly detailed statement of charge is often not very detailed. It can be difficult to respond to a claim when the...more

Yes, Sexual Harassment Plaintiff, You Can Shoot Yourself In The Foot. Here’s How.

Even an air-tight case of sexual harassment can be sabotaged if (1) the employer has a policy banning it and an effective mechanism for handling complaints, and (2) the victim refuses to cooperate in the investigation....more

Sex Stereotyping, Sexual Orientation Discrimination, And Federal Law – Crazy-Mixed-Up Right Now

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is dead again, so there isn’t a federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. Is there any federal law on same-sex harassment or discrimination? If so, what is it?...more

Rampant Sexual Misconduct in Indiana Prison Shows Pitfalls for Employers

Believe it or not, this is not a scene from the new season of Orange is the New Black. It’s actually the opening lines from Orton-Bell v. Indiana, No. 13-1235 (7th Cir. July 21, 2014), an opinion authored by Judge Manion, and...more

3 Reasons Why Tech Startups Struggle with Discrimination and Harassment Training (And 5 Effortless Ways to Protect Your Startup)

I get it – snooze-worthy, old-fashioned harassment and discrimination training isn’t in line with the vibe you’re trying to create at your hip tech startup. You want to be laid back, cut out all the corporate bull$&^*, build...more

NLRB Finds That Employer Improperly Disciplined Employee Who Obscenely Grabbed His Crotch in Front of Female Co-Worker

On July 3, 2014, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) handed down a decision in the case of Consolidated Communications d/b/a Illinois Consolidated Telephone Co. and Local 702, Int'l Brotherhood of Electrical Workers,...more

New Jersey Court Upholds Use of Job Application to Shorten Statute of Limitations for Employment Claims

According to a recent decision from New Jersey’s intermediate appellate court, employers in New Jersey can now reduce the statute of limitations for employment claims by adding the appropriate language to their job...more

Be careful how you treat employees after a complaint of harassment is made

Recently, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in Barrett v. Salt Lake County that emphasized the importance of not retaliating against employees who engage in protected conduct. Background...more

Arbitrator may order change to hours, location of doctor who sexually-harassed hospital nurse

Where a doctor has sexually harassed a nurse, a labour arbitrator has authority to decide how close the doctor should be able to work with the nurse, and under what conditions, an Ontario arbitrator has decided....more

Polsinelli Podcasts - Workplace Bullying: What Employers Need to Know [Video]

We've all heard of schoolyard bullying, but employers need to be aware of possibility of workplace bullying and how it can impact the employer’s business. When an employee, or employee group, singles out another employee for...more

Breaking Down New Regulatory and Administrative Initiatives in the L&E Space

Recently, the NLRB chair, Mark G. Pearce, confirmed that the Board will continue its emphasis on social media cases. In 2011 and 2012, NLRB Acting General Counsel Lafe Solomon released three memoranda detailing the results of...more

Appeals Court Upholds Jury Verdict and All Relief Awarded Against A.C. Widenhouse in EEOC Race Harassment Case

Trucking Company to Pay $243,000 for Subjecting African-American Employees to Racial Slurs and Nooses, Retaliation - WASHINGTON - In the latest of a series of successes in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity...more

A Tale of Two Jurisdictions: Human Rights Laws in New York City and Tennessee Head in Opposite Directions

Sitting here in the Big Apple, the thought of the New York City Council voting to narrow the reach of the New York City Human Rights Law seems roughly equivalent to the thought of a Game of Thrones episode without any...more

The Terrifying Reason Why Today’s Harassment and Discrimination Training Isn’t Enough

Nobody wants to think of their workplace as unsafe. As an employer, you have a vested interest in keeping your employees (not to mention yourself) as well as your company safe. Harassment and discrimination training is...more

Two May Be Company, But Two Racial Slurs in Two Days is Not Enough for a Hostile Work Environment Claim

Often an employer is forced to defend a lawsuit filed by an employee complaining that he or she was subjected to a hostile work environment based on slurs. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for...more

First Circuit Court of Appeals Holds That Employer Can be Found Liable Under Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment Negligence Theory for...

In a case of first impression, the First Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that an employer can be held liable under Title VII for quid pro quo sexual harassment based on the discriminatory actions of a non-supervisory...more

50 for 50: Five Decades of the Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 31: Discrimination Claims are Arbitrable

Arbitration agreements are a common feature of employment relationships today, widely used as a tool for avoiding jury trials of discrimination, harassment and other employment-related disputes. But before 1991, when the...more

The Employment Law Authority - May/June 2014

In This Issue: - Immigration. New proposal aimed at attracting highly-skilled immigrants. - State Round-Up. Learn about the latest employment law news in your state. - Traditional. J. Hamilton Stewart and Matthew...more

50 For 50: Five Decades Of The Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 27: Discrimination and Harassment Policies...

Before Title VII, employee handbooks were rare and, if they existed, they were small pamphlets explaining intra-office procedures. It wasn’t until the proliferation of lawsuits under Title VII that employers began to craft...more

50 For 50: Five Decades Of The Most Important Discrimination Law Developments - Number 26: Individuals Cannot Be Liable For Title...

There are all sorts of reasons why an employee would want to avoid discrimination or harassment of co-workers or direct reports, but the one which resonates the most is the potential that the employee can be found...more

Employment Law Update - Danger Ahead: Employer Liability For Third-Party Harassment

On April 29, 2014, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals held that employers can be liable for third-party harassment under a negligence standard. In doing so, the court joined other circuits in establishing that employers can...more

Four Hawaii Farms to Pay $2.4 Million to Thai Workers to Settle EEOC National Origin and Retaliation Employment Discrimination...

Additional Relief in the Form of Job Offers and Other Benefits Will Be Offered to Vulnerable Thai Laborers, Says Federal Agency - LOS ANGELES - Three years after filing suit against farm labor contractor Global...more

eTrends – Fourth Circuit Adopts Negligence Standard for Third-Party Harassment Claims

When is an employer liable for workplace harassment of its employees by a customer, vendor or other third-party? In Freeman v. Dal-Tile Corp., decided on April 29, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth...more

Sex at work: test your knowledge!

The correct answer is “NO, because the relationship is consensual, so no ‘harassment’ is involved.” People are always surprised at this answer, but the courts generally take the position that favoritism based on a consensual...more

HR as Caesar’s Wife

An employee rejects a co-worker’s proposal of a physical relationship. The co-worker gets him fired. Is the employer liable for sex discrimination? This is different from earlier cat’s paw cases because the person who caused...more

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