Hostile Environment Discrimination

News & Analysis as of

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

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

Employers Burdened By More New Laws

The Oregon Legislature enacted several laws in 2015 that will significantly affect your workplace. The following laws go into effect Jan. 1, 2016: Paid Sick Leave - As expected, Oregon has enacted a mandatory paid sick leave...more

Employment Law - June 2015 #2

Joint Employers Can Be Liable for Employee Misclassification in California: Why it matters - Liability under the California Labor Code extends to joint employers that are aware of a willful misclassification of an...more

Can Employee Display a Confederate Flag on Facebook as Free Speech? Or Can Employer Take Action?

There’s been lots of talk lately about the Confederate flag and its symbolism in the aftermath of the Charleston shootings. But I wondered: How has this flag come up in the context of employment discrimination cases?...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

Fourth Circuit Lowers Bar for Employees in Title VII Retaliation Claims

The case involved an African American cocktail waitress who claimed she was called a “porch monkey” by another employee twice within a 24 hour period. Shortly after reporting the incidents, her employment was terminated. She...more

MLB Litigation Brief: 4th Circuit Hostile Work Enviro, Class Action Trends Cause Concern, Low-Wage Non-Competes & More

Survey Says Increasing Number of Class Actions Most Important Litigation Trend: Norton Rose Fulbright recently released its global 2015 Litigation Trends Annual Survey, which compiles litigation trends and data gathered...more

Single Plant Employment Discrimination Class Survives Dukes Challenge

A divided panel of the Fourth Circuit ruled that a South Carolina district court judge improperly applied Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes in decertifying disparate treatment and disparate impact claims challenging promotion...more

Fourth Circuit Orders Class Certification for African-American Steelworkers—Again

For the second time, the Fourth Circuit has determined that African-American employees at a South Carolina steel plant are entitled to Rule 23 class certification. In Brown v. Nucor Corporation and Nucor Steel-Berkeley,...more

Social Awareness Programs: Good for Business or Legal Risk?

Despite good intentions and previous success taking a stand on contentious issues — i.e., gun control and gay marriage — a coffee company quickly realized its campaign to encourage discussions of race relations between...more

Harassing Act Directed at Another Employee Enough to Revive Plaintiff's Time Barred Harassment Claims

Under Title VII, employees typically must file a charge of discrimination within 180 days (or 300 days in states such as South Carolina with their own EEO enforcement agencies) of the alleged discriminatory act. In its 2002...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

New Jersey Supreme Court Reshapes Sexual Harassment Claims

On February 11, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a landmark ruling that will reshape hostile work environment sexual harassment cases brought under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 to -49...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

Hostile Doesn’t Mean MEAN: Understanding Employment Law

Dealing with employees also means dealing with their misconceptions about employment law. This blog entry highlights some of these misconceptions and reminds employers of the significance of employment at will....more

Another Approaching Benchslap for EEOC?

In a positively delightful “man bites dog” story, a former EEOC investigator just filed suit against the EEOC alleging race discrimination, racially hostile work environment, and retaliation in violation of Title VII and the...more

Illinois Municipality Concludes Probe on Hostile Work Environment

Blowing the whistle does not always need to involve fraud and malfeasance. Sometimes a culture of apathy allows a hostile work environment to develop that can only be addressed with outside intervention. Employees and...more

Rampant Sexual Misconduct in Indiana Prison Shows Pitfalls for Employers

Believe it or not, this is not a scene from the new season of Orange is the New Black. It’s actually the opening lines from Orton-Bell v. Indiana, No. 13-1235 (7th Cir. July 21, 2014), an opinion authored by Judge Manion, and...more

“Me Too” Evidence Doesn’t Cut It

In a case of first impression, Adams v. Austal, USA, LLC, No. 12-11507 (11th Cir. June 17, 2014), the Eleventh Circuit addressed whether an employee may rely on evidence of racial harassment of which he is not personally...more

Two May Be Company, But Two Racial Slurs in Two Days is Not Enough for a Hostile Work Environment Claim

Often an employer is forced to defend a lawsuit filed by an employee complaining that he or she was subjected to a hostile work environment based on slurs. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for...more

Think Third Party Harassment Can’t Harm You? Think Again

On April 29, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s ruling of Freeman v. Dal-Tile Corp., No. 13-1481, 2014 WL 1678422 (4th Cir. Apr. 29, 2014) addressed third-party harassment. The Court held...more

New York City Council Votes to Extend New York City Human Rights Law’s Protections Against Discrimination to Interns

On Wednesday, the New York City Council voted 50-0 to extend the New York City Human Rights Law’s protections to interns. Last October, we reported on a Federal court decision dismissing an unpaid intern’s hostile work...more

Not all offensive behavior is actionable

There are a lot of good reasons for employers to want to eliminate workplace confrontations. Disputes among employees affect productivity, make for an unhappy and unprofessional work environment, and can escalate to more...more

Lessons from the National Football League in the Workplace

Regardless of whether one is a Miami Dolphins or NFL fan, the recent investigation by the NFL regarding allegations of bullying involving Jonathan Martin may tell a precautionary tale for all employers. Briefly, Martin left...more

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