News & Analysis as of

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

Employment Law -- Dec 20, 2013

Despite $27,000 Jury Award, 9th Circuit Approves Almost $700,000 in Attorney’s Fees - Why it matters: Affirming the broad discretion of federal district court judges to award attorney’s fees, the Ninth U.S. Circuit...more

"Boys will be Boys" A Risky Employment Policy

In a 10-6 decision following en banc review, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit recently decided, in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Boh Brothers Construction Co. L.L.C., that an iron worker...more

EEOC Sues Rizza Cadillac of Tinley Park, Citing Harassment of Arab and Muslim Sales Staff

CHICAGO - Rizza Cadillac, Inc. of Tinley Park, Ill., a suburb south of Chicago, violated federal law by encouraging a work environment which was hostile and offensive to Muslim and Arab sales staff, the U.S. Equal Employment...more

At Least The Unicorn Won’t Sue You

When not writing about the legal issues raised by my favorite TV shows, most of this blogger’s Law Law Land blogs have involved either employment law or social media issues. So you can imagine my sheer delight when the news...more

EEOC Sues Memphis Foods for Sexual Harassment of 16-Year-Old Female Employee

Federal Agency Charges KFC Store Manager Discriminated Against Minor - MEMPHIS - Memphis Foods LLC, the owner of a Memphis KFC restaurant, violated federal law by subjecting a teenage employee to sexual harassment and...more

EEOC Sues Cordia Senior Living for Retaliation

Federal Agency Says Westmont Senior Residence Fired Employee for Complaining About Sexual Hostile Work Environment - CHICAGO - A Westmont, Ill., senior living center violated federal law by retaliating against an...more

White Employee Lacks Title VII Race Discrimination Claim In Paula Deen Case

Although most of the media attention surrounding Jackson v. Deen has focused on Paula Deen’s admission during a deposition that she used racial slurs, the underlying case presents an interesting legal question: Can a white...more

EEOC Sues Battaglia Distributing Company for Racial Discrimination

Company Defended Racial Slurs in the Workplace as 'Locker Room Talk,' Federal Agency Charged - CHICAGO, Ill. - Battaglia Distributing Co., Inc., a Chicago wholesale food distributor located at 2500 South Ashland...more

Supreme Court Makes it Harder for Employees to Bring Suits Under Title VII

The Potential Implications for Educational Institutions - Last month, at the close of its October 2012 term, the Supreme Court issued two important rulings in Title VII employment discrimination cases that make it...more

MISO to Pay $90,500 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Power Grid Operator Denied Employee Reasonable Accommodation for Postpartum Depression, Federal Agency Charged - INDIANAPOLIS - Midcontinent Independent Transmission System Operator (MISO), a Carmel, Ind.-based power...more

Your Greatest Risk: Retaliation Claims

Let’s start with the statistics. Last year, there were 99,412 EEOC charges filed; 37,836 of them – more than one out of every three – asserted retaliation. Put differently, more charges of retaliation were filed than any...more

The Supreme Court Clarifies Who Is a Supervisor Under Title VII

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court decided what the definition of a "supervisor" is for purposes of assessing liability for unlawful harassment under Title VII. The Court ruled that an employer will be vicariously...more

Utah Employment Law Letter - June 2013: Race Discrimination: Irish vs. Hispanic: When is it reasonable to suspect illegal...

In the 1800s, Irish immigrants to the United States were looked down on and treated poorly. Indeed, they were so illtreated that saying someone had the “luck of the Irish” was a humorous way of saying that the person was...more

Mihalik v. Credit Agricole Cheuvreux: Second Circuit Clarifies Standard of Review of New York City Human Rights Law Claims

On April 26, 2013, the Second Circuit held that New York City Human Rights Law ("NYCHRL") claims must be analyzed separately from federal and state discrimination claims and that the severe or pervasive standard of liability...more

Third Circuit "Clarifies" Continuing Violation Doctrine

In Mandel v. M & Q Packaging Corp., No. 11-3913, 2013 WL 141890 (3d Cir. Jan. 14, 2013), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit "clarified" the application of the continuing violation doctrine as defined by the U.S....more

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