Harassment Hostile Environment

News & Analysis as of

Best Practices for Preventing Workplace Harassment Claims

A few weeks ago, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held its second public meeting in Los Angeles with a group of experts selected to serve on the EEOC’s Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in...more

Anonymous Threats Cannot Be Ignored

Employee complaints based on anonymous harassment pose special problems for employers. How do you uncover the source of the problem when no one is able to identify who acted inappropriately? ...more

What is “Actionable” for Harassment Claims To Succeed

As I continue recapping various sessions from the ABA Labor & Employment Law Annual Conference last week in Philadelphia, it’s time to turn to what makes claims “actionable” under today’s harassment laws. In other words,...more

The Employment Law Authority - September/October 2015

On October 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning new rules for extending the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program for international students...more

HUD Proposes “Quid Pro Quo” Rule to Amend FHA Regulations

On October 21, HUD announced a proposed rule that would formalize the standards for evaluating harassment claims in housing or housing-related transactions under the FHA. The rule – “Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment...more

“Like” it or Not? Tips for Addressing Employee Social Media Use

At first, employee social media use sounds like a matter of common sense. Candidates for a job should be careful what they post on social media sites, and make sure they’re not sharing any unsavory details about their past...more

Top 10 Workplace Investigation Mistakes: Part I

Resolving conflict in the workplace is a key issue for employers. Legal requirements have continued to expand in terms of what courts expect employers to do in order to prevent and correct wrongful behavior. In response,...more

Borgata Babes: Casino Is Entitled to Enforce Weight Restrictions

On September 15, 2015, the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division found in Shiavo v. Marina District Development Company, LLC, that the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”) does not encompass allegations...more

Employee Relations, Title VII, and the Confederate Battle Flag

Many workplaces situated below the Mason-Dixon line will employ both those who feel the Confederate flag is a vital part of their heritage and self-expression, and also those who see the Confederate flag as a symbol of...more

Supervisor Told Employee Patient Abuse 'Comes with the Territory'

An employee responsible for drawing blood from nursing home patients was racially and sexually harassed by one of the patients. When she complained, her supervisor told her that “it comes with the territory” and “you just...more

Reminder: California Employers Must Provide Updated Management Training on Workplace Bullying

With most of 2015 already passed, California employers should ensure compliance with new sexual harassment prevention training requirements, which now include "abusive conduct" as a mandated topic of discussion....more

Workplace Bullying: What’s the Employer’s Responsibility?

Over the past two decades, parents, schools, school boards and legislators have worked hard to address bullying in the classroom and on the playground. In the workplace, which also sees its share of bullying behavior, there...more

Confederate Flag License Plate Does Not Create a Hostile Work Environment Based on Race

The recent tragic shooting in Charleston reignited debate nationwide regarding the appropriateness of public displays of the Confederate battle flag. Earlier this year, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals determined that a...more

Employers Can be Liable For Acts of Anonymous Harassers

A recent federal court case emphasized an important lesson for all companies to consider: employers are under an obligation to investigate employee complaints of a hostile work environment even if the identity of the harasser...more

Hostile Work Environment: Playing Defense to Offensive Workplace Conduct

A hostile environment can result from the unwelcome conduct of supervisors, co-workers, customers, contractors or anyone else with whom the victim interacts on the job when the unwelcome conduct renders the workplace...more

Federal Court Says Employer Can Be Liable for Acts of Anonymous Harasser

As a major national company learned recently, employers cannot shirk their obligations to investigate employee complaints of a hostile work environment simply because the identity of the harasser is unknown. Failure to...more

New Harassment and Retaliation Standard in Fourth Circuit

Last month, in Boyer-Liberto v. Fontainebleau Corp., No. 13-1473 (4th Cir. May 7, 2015), the federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which includes North and South Carolina, articulated a new standard for analyzing...more

Cumulative Harassment Theory Must Include Individual Claims That Meet Severe and Pervasive Threshold

Sometimes, employees believe that they have been discriminated against or harassed based on their membership in multiple protected categories. Employers often receive EEOC charges that identify race and sex, or age and...more

Single Incident of Severe Verbal Harassment Can Be Sufficient to Establish a Hostile Working Environment

In Boyer-Liberto v. Fontainebleau Corp., 2015 WL 2116849 (4th Cir. May 7, 2015), the Fourth Circuit recently held that an isolated, but "extremely serious" incident of verbal harassment can establish a hostile work...more

Fourth Circuit Joins Other Federal Courts in Broadly Interpreting the Scope of Title VII Retaliation Claims

On May 7, 2015, the Fourth Circuit ruled that an isolated instance of harassment, if "extremely serious," can create a hostile work environment, and that complaining about such harassment constitutes protected activity under...more

In a Win for Employees, Fourth Circuit Finds That Two Racial Slurs May Support Harassment Claim

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently made two noteworthy rulings in a single case concerning sexual harassment and retaliation under Title VII. First, as it relates to sexual harassment, the Court found that two...more

Lowering the Bar: Fourth Circuit Rules Single Incident Sufficient to Trigger Title VII Hostile Work Environment Claim

Out with the old and in with the new. In a decision issued last week, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals held that a single incident of harassment was sufficient to move a harassment claim forward. This decision is certainly...more

Fourth Circuit Lowers the Bar in Title VII Harassment and Retaliation Cases

On May 7, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (covering Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland) issued an opinion that potentially makes it easier for employees to survive...more

Several Ounces of Prevention: The New Jersey Supreme Court Reminds Employers of the Importance of Anti-Harassment Policies,...

On February 11, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court, in Aguas v. New Jersey, decided three important legal issues regarding employment discrimination claims under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“LAD”). First,...more

Workplace Harassment Still a Major Problem Experts Tell EEOC at Meeting

EEOC Chair Announces Task Force to Develop Strategies to Prevent and Correct Harassment - WASHINGTON-Workplace harassment is alleged in approximately 30 percent of all charges filed with the U.S. Equal Employment...more

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