Hostile Environment

News & Analysis as of

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

Loi Travail : Obligation de prévention des agissements sexistes

Since August 10, 2016, an obligation of prevention of sexist behavior in the business is charged to employers. The actions related to the sex of a person and having the purpose or effect of violating their dignity or...more

EEOC Resuelve Caso de Robo de Salario Discriminatorio

Steamboat Springs restaurante que pagar $50,000 (50 mil dolares) por falta de pago de salarios adecuados a Los trabajadores latinos debido a su raza u origen nacional - DENVER - En Steamboat Springs, Colorado, el...more

EEOC Conciliates Discriminatory Wage Theft Case

Steamboat Springs Restaurant to Pay $50,000 for Failing to Pay Proper Wages to Latino Workers Because of Race or National Origin - DENVER - A Steamboat Springs, Colo., restaurant has agreed to pay $50,000 to resolve race...more

Fifth Circuit Green Lights Discovery Over Immigration Status In EEOC Litigation

Seyfarth Synopsis: Hispanic employees of a poultry processing plant alleged harassment and abuse on the job. The company claimed that the employees’ allegations were fabricated in order to obtain U visas, which are available...more

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

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