Hostile Environment

News & Analysis as of

Resignation triggers clock start for filing constructive discharge claims

Federal law requires a governmental employee to file a constructive discharge claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 45 days of the “matter alleged to be discriminatory.” The vagueness of that phrase...more

Supreme Court Leaves Massive Attorney's Fee Award Against EEOC Unresolved

But Decision Could Still Be Helpful For Employers - Today, in a unanimous 8-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to issue a definitive ruling on whether an employer is entitled to recover nearly $5 million dollars...more

Supreme Court Holds a Party May be Entitled to Attorneys' Fees Absent a Favorable Ruling on the Merits

On May 19, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in CRST, Inc. v. EEOC, which addressed the definition of a “prevailing party” who may be awarded attorneys’ fees in Title VII cases. Although the Court ultimately...more

Ripped From the Headlines: Three Investigation Lessons to Learn From a Political Controversy

Another day, another political scandal involving a politician accused of having had an extramarital affair. The latest such story concerns an alleged inappropriate relationship that the governor of Alabama had with a top...more

Is Your Sexual Harassment Training Making Things Worse?

A recent article about a study on the effectiveness of sexual harassment training caught my eye. The article explains: “Some researchers believe trainings have no positive effects, tend to be more about legal cover than...more

California Employment Law Notes - May 2016

Employee Who Needed To Assist Disabled Son Could Proceed With "Associational Disability Discrimination" Claim - Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc., 246 Cal. App. 4th 180 (2016) - Luis...more

Asbestos Specialists, Inc. Will Pay $100,000 and Make Major Policy Changes to Resolve EEOC and OFCCP Investigations

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Asbestos Specialists, Inc. (ASI), a Baltimore-based company that specializes in asbestos removal and demolition in the Washington, D.C. area, will pay $100,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to...more

Federal Judge Awards EEOC $7,658,500 in Case Against Farm Labor Contractor Global Horizons

62 Thai Farmworkers Vindicated After Exploitation at the Hands of Global Horizons - LOS ANGELES - A federal judge has ordered farm labor contractor Global Horizons, Inc. to pay $7,658,500 for a pattern or practice of...more

The Employment Law Authority - March/April 2016

A federal appellate court recently held that an employer did not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when it discharged an employee who had been sleeping at work and falling short of the employer’s performance...more

“Lighten Up, Baby,” And Other Harassment “Best Practices” For Employers

Many employers ask me: “Robin, what are your ‘best practices’ for workplace sexual harassment?” I’m glad you asked! No. 1: Be sure that your policy on sexual harassment is boring and legalistic. The entire legal...more

Office Love Affairs: How to Prevent Scandal

Are things starting to get a little steamy around the office? Perhaps two employees have started to take long glances at each other from across the conference room, text each other like crazy, or maybe they have been known to...more

Is It OK To Tell Polish Jokes At Work? (Answer: NO)

By this point in the 21st century, most working professionals know that there are certain things that are absolutely unacceptable in today’s workplace. What might have been tolerable at an office setting in the 1970s can get...more

Hostile Work Environments and Sexual Orientation: EEOC Files First Federal Suits

Normally in this space we write about court decisions that have already occurred and are likely to impact employers. This week, we focus on cases that have just been filed and could have far reaching implications. In a...more

Ontario’s Sexual Harassment Protections Passed

Ontario’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act was passed and received Royal Assent on March 8, 2016. The Act will go into effect in six months on September 8, 2016. The Act creates new duties for employers to...more

New York District Court Holds Sexual Orientation Not Protected by Title VII

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") announced filing its first federal lawsuits against private-sector businesses, challenging sexual orientation discrimination as sex discrimination....more

FYC International to Pay $80,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Suit

Top Warehouse Manager Abused Women and Promoted a Culture Condoning Such Misconduct, Federal Agency Charged - NEW HAVEN, Conn. - FYC International Inc., a manufacturer and wholesaler of women's and children's clothing...more

Bill 132 Update: Ontario’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Legislation to Become Law September 8, 2016

In a previous post, we reported on Ontario’s new sexual violence and harassment legislation, Bill 132, An Act to amend various statutes with respect to sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and related...more

Repeated Touching Enough to Justify Same-Sex Harassment Verdict

Plaintiffs seeking compensation for sexual harassment must demonstrate that they were subjected to a hostile and offensive working environment. Plaintiffs in same-sex harassment claims have the additional burden of proving...more

EEOC Files First Two Lawsuits in Federal Court Alleging Sexual Orientation Bias under Title VII

Two lawsuits filed by the EEOC on March 1, 2016, appear to be part of the Commission’s Strategic Enforcement Plan. Priorities of the plan include “Addressing Emerging and Developing Issues” such as “coverage of lesbian, gay,...more

The EEOC Files Historic Lawsuits Testing Theory That Title VII Covers Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation

As we’ve been reporting in our blogs, the EEOC continues to pursue an expansive theory of discrimination. It has taken the position that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity is prohibited...more

EEOC Files Its First Lawsuits Alleging Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has made it official—it will file lawsuits under Title VII based on sexual orientation discrimination. On March 1, 2016 the EEOC filed two federal lawsuits alleging that...more

EEOC Files First Suits Challenging Sexual Orientation Discrimination as Sex Discrimination

In Two Separate Lawsuits, Federal Agency Charges That a Gay Male Employee and a Lesbian Employee Were Subjected to Hostile Work Environments Because of Sex - WASHINGTON - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission...more

Hostile Work Environment Creator, Equal Opportunity Offender or Something Else?

You work for a privately-owned multinational conglomerate with a high-profile CEO who loves Twitter and can’t stop talking. And that CEO, outside of work, has been critical of lots of people....more

Memphis Cheddar’s Settles EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit for $450,000

Male Managers at Memphis Restaurant Sexually Harassed a Class of Female Employees, Federal Agency Charged - MEMPHIS - Mint Julep Restaurant Operations, LLC, an independent restaurant company and franchisee of the casual...more

Fifth Circuit Weighs In On Breadth Of The Rehabilitation Act

Recently, a split has continued among the Circuit Courts as to whether Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act permits employment discrimination suits by independent contractors. On February 1, 2016, the Fifth Circuit joined...more

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