Harassment

News & Analysis as of

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

Seventh Circuit Says One Use of “N-Word” Does Not Create Hostile Work Environment

Under Title VII, single acts of verbal abuse typically do not rise to the level of legally actionable harassment. Only when these behaviors are repeated over a discrete period of time will courts consider them to create a...more

Week in Review

Some high profile companies, including two technology giants, made headlines this week after former employees filed lawsuits against them alleging discrimination and harassment. The case against Yahoo is likely to be...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

If Tinder Had A Corporate Compliance Training Program, CMO Might Still Be Dateable

The sudden onslaught of high profile sexual harassment and gender discrimination cases that are surfacing has me quoting a line from one of my favorite movies; “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!”. First, American Apparel,...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 CIA’s Epic Failure in Protecting Employees: Culture of Accountability Begins with Mandatory Workplace Harassment Training and...

You’ve probably seen the multiple stories and blogs that were published last week on the sad state of the workplace at the CIA. I read this post on the PBS Newshour site, noting that 15 CIA employees were found to have...more

Why BoDs and CEOs Need Workplace Harassment Training Too: American Apparel’s Board and CEO Violated Their Own Code of Ethics

I was driving home Wednesday evening, listening to the news on the radio, when I heard the story about Dov Charney, the CEO of American Apparel, being fired by the company’s board of directors. According to that story and...more

How Long Do I Have to Bring My FDCPA Claim?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) is a federal law that prohibits debt collectors from treating the people who they are attempting to collect from unfairly or with disrespect. Common violations of the FDCPA...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

New NLRB Ruling Creates New Hazards for Employer Retaliation Policies

In the latest in a series of decisions impacting non-union and unionized employers, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued a new decision that jeopardizes enforcement of employers’ anti-harassment and...more

Advertising Law - June 2014

Auto Lender Pays $5.5M Over FDCPA, FCRA, and FTC Act Charges - More than $5.5 million was required to settle the Federal Trade Commission’s charges against Consumer Portfolio Services, a California-based auto lender...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

Charlotte Security Provider to Pay $155k to Settle EEOC Same-Sex Sexual Harassment/Retaliation Suit

Male Supervisor Subjected Male Employees to Sexual Touching and Comments, Federal Agency Charged - CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Metro Special Police & Security Services, Inc., a Charlotte-based provider of private security and...more

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