Hostile Environment

News & Analysis as of

California Employment Law Notes - January 2017

$90 Million Judgment Reinstated: Employers Must Relieve Employees Of All Duties During Their Rest Periods - Augustus v. ABM Sec. Servs., Inc., 2016 WL 7407328 (Cal. S. Ct. 2016) - Jennifer Augustus filed this...more

A Post-Election Survival Guide For Employers

In the two months since the culmination of what many call the most bitterly contested presidential election in American history, employers are already reporting the conflict among employees is unlike any other in modern...more

EEOC Wins Jury Verdict in Sexual Harassment Case against Costco

Failure to Intervene Against Harassing Customer Created Hostile Work Environment, EEOC Charged - CHICAGO - A federal jury has awarded $250,000 in compensatory damages to a former employee of Costco Wholesale, Inc. who...more

North Dakota Employer Harassed Worker Because of His Sexual Orientation, EEOC Charges

Male Employee Was Subjected to a Hostile Work Environment Because of His Sexual Orientation, Federal Agency Charges - MINNEAPOLIS -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today that it has...more

EEOC Sues Hiatt & Mason Enterprises For Racial Harassment

Black Employee Subjected to Racial Epithets Almost Daily, Federal Agency Charges - MOUNT AIRY, N.C. - Hiatt & Mason Enterprises, Inc., a structural steel erection services company, violated federal law when it subjected...more

Wal-Mart to Pay $75,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Lawsuit

Giant Retailer Unlawfully Denied Accommodations to and Harassed Cancer Survivor at Illinois Store, Federal Agency Charged - CHICAGO - Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will pay a former employee $75,000 to settle a disability...more

Co-worker’s racial statements may support discrimination claim

As a recent ruling by a Tulsa federal court shows, an employer may be held liable for the racial bias and conduct of its employees, even if those employees do not work in a decision-making capacity within the company....more

Hospitality Industry Law Newsletter

New Labor Code Section Prevents Employers from Using Out-of-State Choice of Laws Provisions in Contracts with California Employees - On September 27, 2016 Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law impacting the contract...more

Courts Say Title VII Forbids Employment Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Seyfarth Synopsis: Increasingly, courts have held that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity violates Title VII. Federal district courts in Nevada and Pennsylvania have recently joined their...more

Peter Dinklage takes on Elf

It’s December, which means that those of us holiday fanatics can decorate and watch Christmas movies to our hearts’ content without shame. Of course, I won’t tell anyone if you already had your tree up in November (like me)...more

Courts are Trending Toward Prohibiting Sexual Orientation Discrimination under Federal Law

Two recent court decisions highlight the ongoing struggle by federal courts to determine whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation....more

HUD Issues Final Rule on Unlawful Hostile Environment and Quid Pro Quo Harassment

On September 14, 2016, the Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") issued a final rule, "Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment Harassment and Liability for Discriminatory Housing Practices under the Fair Housing...more

EEOC Issues Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination

On November 21, 2016, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) issued enforcement guidance addressing national origin discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VII”). The EEOC...more

Pennsylvania Court Says Title VII Prohibits Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (‘EEOC”) has been aggressively advancing its position that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation even though sexual...more

"No Contract" Disclaimer in Employee Handbook Upheld by Illinois Court

Employee handbooks have long been a trap for the unwary employer that desires merely to establish a set of rules and policies without undermining an at-will employment relationship with its employees. To avoid establishing...more

Same-Sex Harassment Not Actionable When Conduct Not Based on Gender

Employees can consider a working environment to be hostile due to sexual conduct, even when the workplace is all male or all female. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and federal courts have long held that...more

The Continuing Expansion of Sexual Harassment Training Requirements in California

A dozen years ago, the passage in California of Assembly Bill (AB) 1825 began required sexual harassment prevention training for supervisors in companies with 50 or more employees.  Since then, California has led the nation...more

EEOC Sues JL Schwieters Construction For Severe Race Harassment

Supervisor Threatened Black Workers With Gun and Noose, Federal Agency Charged - MINNEAPOLIS - A Hugo, Minn., construction company violated federal civil rights law by subjecting African-American employees to a hostile...more

Independent Medical Staff Denied Title VII Protection

It has not been unusual for employed physicians to seek the protection provided to independent medical staff members through the due process procedures provided by medical staff by-laws. The case of Levitin and Chicago...more

Justice Department Seeks to Intervene in Lawsuit Alleging Race Discrimination and Retaliation by Pocomoke City, Maryland, the...

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department announced today that it has moved to intervene in Savage et al. v. Pocomoke City et al., a private lawsuit alleging race discrimination and retaliation under Title VII of the Civil Rights...more

A Contentious Presidential Election, #BlackLivesMatter and Bathroom Laws: Addressing Polarizing Current Events in the Workplace

It is practically impossible these days to turn on the news, get on the internet or listen to the radio without hearing about some polarizing event. Whether it is a debate over the presidential candidates, the...more

Lessons About Bullying from the Presidential Debate

I have been conducting harassment prevention training for California clients since AB 1825 became effective back in 2005. After presenting what must be hundreds of sessions in the last decade, I am always on the look-out for...more

Faragher/Ellerth defense used to defeat Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act claim

As a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit shows, the same employer defenses used to defeat Title VII discrimination claims can also be used to defeat claims under the Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination...more

Seventh Circuit Says Workplace Noose Does Not Automatically Create Hostile Work Environment

In recent years, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (which includes North Carolina and South Carolina) has moved toward a position recognizing that certain workplace occurrences automatically meet the legal requirements for...more

Trump’s So-Called “Locker Room Talk”: Would It Count Towards a “Hostile Work Environment”?

I’ve always tried for this blog to be apolitical. That doesn’t mean I don’t have political views — I obviously do — but I don’t think that they should play into or how we look at certain legal issues. But we need to...more

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