Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Supreme Court Leaves Massive Attorney's Fee Award Against EEOC Unresolved

But Decision Could Still Be Helpful For Employers - Today, in a unanimous 8-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to issue a definitive ruling on whether an employer is entitled to recover nearly $5 million dollars...more

Supreme Court Holds a Party May be Entitled to Attorneys' Fees Absent a Favorable Ruling on the Merits

On May 19, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in CRST, Inc. v. EEOC, which addressed the definition of a “prevailing party” who may be awarded attorneys’ fees in Title VII cases. Although the Court ultimately...more

Ripped From the Headlines: Three Investigation Lessons to Learn From a Political Controversy

Another day, another political scandal involving a politician accused of having had an extramarital affair. The latest such story concerns an alleged inappropriate relationship that the governor of Alabama had with a top...more

Is Your Sexual Harassment Training Making Things Worse?

A recent article about a study on the effectiveness of sexual harassment training caught my eye. The article explains: “Some researchers believe trainings have no positive effects, tend to be more about legal cover than...more

California Employment Law Notes - May 2016

Employee Who Needed To Assist Disabled Son Could Proceed With "Associational Disability Discrimination" Claim - Castro-Ramirez v. Dependable Highway Express, Inc., 246 Cal. App. 4th 180 (2016) - Luis...more

“Lighten Up, Baby,” And Other Harassment “Best Practices” For Employers

Many employers ask me: “Robin, what are your ‘best practices’ for workplace sexual harassment?” I’m glad you asked! No. 1: Be sure that your policy on sexual harassment is boring and legalistic. The entire legal...more

Office Love Affairs: How to Prevent Scandal

Are things starting to get a little steamy around the office? Perhaps two employees have started to take long glances at each other from across the conference room, text each other like crazy, or maybe they have been known to...more

Ontario’s Sexual Harassment Protections Passed

Ontario’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act was passed and received Royal Assent on March 8, 2016. The Act will go into effect in six months on September 8, 2016. The Act creates new duties for employers to...more

FYC International to Pay $80,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Suit

Top Warehouse Manager Abused Women and Promoted a Culture Condoning Such Misconduct, Federal Agency Charged - NEW HAVEN, Conn. - FYC International Inc., a manufacturer and wholesaler of women's and children's clothing...more

Bill 132 Update: Ontario’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Legislation to Become Law September 8, 2016

In a previous post, we reported on Ontario’s new sexual violence and harassment legislation, Bill 132, An Act to amend various statutes with respect to sexual violence, sexual harassment, domestic violence and related...more

Repeated Touching Enough to Justify Same-Sex Harassment Verdict

Plaintiffs seeking compensation for sexual harassment must demonstrate that they were subjected to a hostile and offensive working environment. Plaintiffs in same-sex harassment claims have the additional burden of proving...more

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