Hostile Environment Retaliation

News & Analysis as of

Fourth Circuit Rejects “Manager Rule” in Title VII Claims

On Monday, August 10, the Fourth Circuit rejected the application of the “manager rule” in the Title VII context, finding it “would discourage . . . employees from voicing concerns about workplace discrimination.”...more

Second Circuit Clarifies Pleading Standard for Title VII Claims

A Second Circuit panel recently revived a former employee’s racial discrimination suit against New York City, reversing in part the Southern District of New York’s dismissal of her case. In Littlejohn v. City of New York,...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

New Harassment and Retaliation Standard in Fourth Circuit

Last month, in Boyer-Liberto v. Fontainebleau Corp., No. 13-1473 (4th Cir. May 7, 2015), the federal Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which includes North and South Carolina, articulated a new standard for analyzing...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

Fourth Circuit Ruling Makes Retaliation Claims Harder to Dismiss

Reya C. Boyer-Liberto, a cocktail waitress, recently filed a lawsuit against the Maryland hotel she worked at, claiming she was fired after complaining about people using racial slurs against her. The defendant, the...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

The Fourth Circuit Asks What For, Answers with But For: The Determination that a Landmark United States Supreme Court Decision...

In 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States held that plaintiffs claiming retaliation under Title VII must prove that “but for” the retaliation they would not have been discharged. University of Texas Southwestern Medical...more

Single Incident of Severe Verbal Harassment Can Be Sufficient to Establish a Hostile Working Environment

In Boyer-Liberto v. Fontainebleau Corp., 2015 WL 2116849 (4th Cir. May 7, 2015), the Fourth Circuit recently held that an isolated, but "extremely serious" incident of verbal harassment can establish a hostile work...more

In a Win for Employees, Fourth Circuit Finds That Two Racial Slurs May Support Harassment Claim

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently made two noteworthy rulings in a single case concerning sexual harassment and retaliation under Title VII. First, as it relates to sexual harassment, the Court found that two...more

Fourth Circuit Lowers the Bar in Title VII Harassment and Retaliation Cases

On May 7, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (covering Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Maryland) issued an opinion that potentially makes it easier for employees to survive...more

The “Protected Activity” Prong of a Prima Facie Retaliation Claim

Courts increasingly scrutinize the “protected activity” prong of a plaintiff’s prima facie retaliation claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other, similar anti-discrimination laws. ...more

EEOC Sues DHD Ventures and Affiliated Companies for Racial Harassment and Retaliation

Real Estate Management Company Fired Employees After Complaining About Harassment, Federal Agency Charges - GREENVILLE, S.C. - DHD Ventures Management Company, Inc., a New York-based real estate management company,...more

Higher burdens in SOX whistleblower retaliation claims - 5 tips for employers

Two recent decisions have clarified the heightened burden facing employers addressing whistleblower retaliation claims under Section 806 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). On October 9, 2014, in Fordham v. Fannie Mae,...more

Employer's "Super Policy" Against Harassment Requires Employer to Protect Employee Beyond That Which is Required by Law

A Costco employee suffered from Tourette's syndrome, and made complaints to management about the way his supervisors and others were treating him. He later filed charges with the Connecticut Human Rights Organization as well...more

EEOC Sues Mel-K Management Company for Race- and Sex-Based Harassment and Retaliation

Manager Hurled Racial and Sex-Based Epithets at Workers, Fired a Harassment Victim for Complaining, Federal Agency Charges - CLEVELAND - Mel-K Management Company violated federal law by subjecting a class of employees...more

EEOC Sues Carolina Metal Finishing for Racial Harassment

Bishopville Plant Subjected African-American Employee to Racial Abuse and Fired Him for Complaining, Federal Agency Charges - COLUMBIA, S.C. - Carolina Metal Finishing, LLC, a Bishopville, S.C.-based metal finishing...more

EEOC Sues VXI Global Solutions for Systemic Sexual Harassment of Call Center Staff

Supervisors Openly Subjected Both Female & Male Staff to Constant Sexual Propositions, Graphic Pictures, Foul Language & Groping, Says Federal Agency - LOS ANGELES - VXI Global Solutions, a provider of call center...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

EEOC Sues MountainKing Potatoes for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Supervisors Harassed Female Farmworkers Over Period of Time, Then Punished Them for Complaining, Federal Agency Charges - DENVER - MountainKing Potatoes, the name under which Smokin' Spuds, Inc. and Farming Technology,...more

Fourth Circuit Says Co-Worker's Use of Racially Derogative Terms Did Not Create Hostile Work Environment

Not every offensive act in the workplace constitutes actionable harassment under Title VII. In order to rise to the level of a hostile and offensive working environment, the conduct must be sufficiently severe and pervasive...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

Employer Liable for Disregarding Complaints About Soiled Toilet, Porn, and Retaliation — Possible Punitive Damages

In Davis v. Kiewit Pacific Company, Lisa Davis, a heavy machine operator and one of two female employees at a 100-employee excavation project, prevailed in her claims of gender discrimination, hostile work environment, and...more

Fenwick Employment Brief - October 2013

In Davis v. Kiewit Pacific Company, Lisa Davis, a heavy machine operator and one of two female employees at a 100-employee excavation project, prevailed in her claims of gender discrimination, hostile work environment, and...more

EEOC Sues Newport News Industrial Corporation for Unlawful Retaliation

Company Terminated Employee for Complaining about Gender Discrimination, Federal Agency Charged - WILMINGTON, N.C. - Newport News Industrial Corporation violated federal law by firing a female employee after she...more

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