Hostile Environment

News & Analysis as of

Can privileged settlement negotiations be used to prove a hostile work environment?

In Shaw Communications Inc. and Unifor, Local M1, Re, 2016 CarswellNat 4032 (Saunders), a dispute arose following an employee’s allegation of harassment against a coworker. The employee filed a harassment complaint, and then...more

New Jersey Court Ruling Raises Price Of Employment Discrimination

Supreme Court Decision Impacts Potential Emotional Distress Damages - On September 19, 2016, the New Jersey Supreme Court upheld a jury’s award of $1.4 million in emotional distress damages to two Hispanic brothers who...more

Mayflower Seafood of Goldsboro Agrees To Pay $81,500 To Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Server/Cashier at Restaurant Subjected to Sexual Harassment and Then Retaliation for Complaining About It, Federal Agency Charged - RALEIGH, N.C. - A Goldsboro, N.C., seafood restaurant will pay $81,500 and furnish other...more

New Fair Housing Rule Extends Liability to Housing Providers for Harassment

This week, HUD issued a final rule that creates liability under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) for housing providers for occurrences of “quid pro quo harassment” or “hostile environment harassment.” The new rule takes effect on...more

Security Firm To Pay $115,000 To Settle EEOC Retaliation Suit

Guardsmark Fired Security Guard Working at Michigan Client Location For Opposing Sexual Harassment, Federal Agency Charges - DETROIT - Security giant Guardsmark has agreed to pay $115,000 and to provide other relief to...more

HUD Finalizes New Fair Housing Rule for Quid Pro Quo, Hostile Environment Harassment

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has issued a final rule that creates liability for housing providers for occurrences of "quid pro quo harassment" or "hostile environment harassment." The new rule,...more

Bosses Behaving Badly

All employers received a reminder yesterday regarding the potential dangers of sexual harassment in the workplace. Fox News has reportedly agreed to pay its former anchor, Gretchen Carlson, $20,000,000 to settle her...more

Sweet Justice! Dismissal of Bully's FMLA Claim Proves Employers Can Safely Terminate an Employee on the Heels of FMLA Leave

I hate bullies. Back in 4th grade, Sister Mary Demetria, OSF, told us that “hating” someone was a sin. I’m convinced Sister never met a bully. Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. Cause, you see, whenever I...more

EEOC Sues T-N-T Of York County, Inc. And Tm Trucking of The Carolinas, LLC For Racial Harassment

Owner Constantly Harassed Black Employees, Forcing Many to Quit, Federal Agency Charges - ROCK HILL, S.C. - Two interconnected South Carolina trucking companies violated federal law when they subjected black employees to...more

Seventh Circuit to Plaintiffs: Here's Your Burden of Proof

Most employees who file employment discrimination claims hope for one of two things – a really sympathetic jury or an employer that is willing to generously settle the lawsuit to avoid the risks and uncertainties of trial. ...more

Seventh Circuit Clarifies Evidentiary Standard for Employment Discrimination Claims

In Ortiz v. Werner Enterprises, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit clarified its standard for evaluating evidence in employment discrimination cases and rejected prior decisions to the extent they...more

Windsor Inn Will Pay $200,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit

Restaurant Owner Harassed Female Employees, Federal Agency Said - BALTIMORE - A Baltimore restaurant, R.V. Associates Limited, doing business as Windsor Inn, will pay $200,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to...more

Lessons in dealing with an “equal opportunity” harasser

A new opinion released by the Tenth Circuit provides practical tips to employers dealing with multiple employee complaints alleging generalized harassment and/or discrimination throughout the workplace....more

Court rules unauthorized absence justifies firing

The federal appeals court that covers Oklahoma recently ruled in favor of Dillon Companies, Inc., a Kansas corporation that does business as King Soopers, in a lawsuit filed by a former grocery store employee who claimed he...more

Fifth Circuit Decision Reinforces The Importance of Clearly Communicating Anti-Harassment Policies

A well-drafted anti-sexual harassment policy and complaint procedure can provide useful defenses for employers defending against claims of sexual harassment. However, a recent decision from the Fifth Circuit should remind...more

Violence In The Workplace: Is Your Business At Risk?

A large portion of my practice is concentrated in the area of workplace violence prevention. When I mention this at bar events and cocktail parties, it must conjure up images of mass shootings and SWAT teams. However,...more

Trial Recommended for France Telecom Top Executives for Workplace Bullying

After a seven-year inquiry into a wave of suicides at France Telecom, the Paris public prosecutor has recommended that its former chief executive and other key figures be put on trial for workplace bullying. If the trial...more

DHD Ventures Management Company, Inc. To Pay $40,000 to Settle EEOC Racial Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit

New York-Based Real Estate Management Company Fired Employees In Retaliation For Complaining About Racial Harassment, Federal Agency Charges - GREENVILLE, S.C. - DHD Ventures Management Company, Inc., a New York-based...more

OFCCP Issues Final Rule on Sex Discrimination

Last week, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs issued its Final Rule on Discrimination on the Basis of Sex. The new regulations rescind the OFCCP’s prior Sex Discrimination Guidelines and give regulatory effect...more

Success through rudeness and hostility

Silicon Valley’s third season is in full swing on HBO, which raised a question in my mind: if Michael Scott’s Dunder Mifflin warranted an entire blog from the FordHarrison crew, isn’t the Hacker Hostel’s Erlich Bachman at...more

Labor and Employment Group News: Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission Hit With Substantial Disability Discrimination Award

Private employers will feel faint satisfaction in learning that a Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) Hearing Officer has lowered the boom in a disability discrimination case on a state agency servicing...more

Expanding the Timer: Supreme Court Gives Employees More Time to File Claims

They say that timing is everything — or at least now it is for so-called “constructive discharge” claims. Last month, the United States Supreme Court, in a 7-1 decision, solidified the rule that the time within which an...more

Use of ‘Caps’ To Apportion Individual Defendants’ Joint and Several Liability Permitted in Employment Discrimination Action

On April 1, 2016, the United States Court for the District of Connecticut entered judgment on a jury verdict in Bakhit, et. al. v. Safety Markings, Inc. et. al., 3:13-CV-1049, an employment discrimination case, awarding the...more

The Customer Is Not Always Right: The Dangers Of Third-Party Harassment Claims

Like most in the hospitality industry, you are constantly balancing many competing demands. At any given moment, you could be focusing on managing staff performance. Or perhaps you are reviewing your employment policies to...more

Fourth Circuit Finds Rebellious Behavior by Subordinates Insufficient to Constitute Hostile Work Environment

Most hostile environment harassment claims brought under Title VII involve allegations of offensive conduct by the plaintiff’s supervisors or co-workers. In a few situations, the employee alleges that his or her subordinates...more

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