Sexual Harassment

News & Analysis as of

Federal Government Issues Guidance to Schools on Title IX and Transgender Students

In a move that made headlines across the country, two federal government agencies issued a significant guidance document last week interpreting Title IX's requirements for protecting transgender students' rights....more

SCOTUS Dodges EEOC Fee-Shifting

This morning, the Supreme Court dodged the final resolution of an issue we have all been dying to have resolved, but threw a nice bone to employers in the process. CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC The case started when the...more

The Supreme Court - May 2016 #3

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in three cases on May 19, 2016: CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC, No. 14-1375: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) brought a suit in its own name...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

Supreme Court Continues Sanctions Litigation Against the EEOC

A slap in the face, maybe, after 11 years - Back in 2005, a prospective driver for a trucking company filed a charge with the EEOC contending that two trainers sexually harassed her during an over-the-road trip. That...more

U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice Issue Dear Colleague Letter Addressing Protections for Transgender...

On May 13, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague Letter (the “Letter”) addressing civil rights protections for transgender students under Title IX. The Letter is...more

An Open Love Letter to Justice Clarence Thomas

I admit it. I have a crush on Justice Thomas. Today’s unanimous Supreme Court opinion in CRST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC – holding that a merit-based dismissal is not necessary for a defendant to qualify as the “prevailing...more

Supreme Court Decides RST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC

On May 19, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States decided RST Van Expedited, Inc. v. EEOC, No. 14-1375, holding that a defendant may be a prevailing party—and therefore entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees under...more

Is Sexual Harassment Training A Turn-Off For Men?

A semi-recent article in the New York Post — “The Corporate ‘Cure’ for Sexual Harassment Only Feeds the Disease” — cited a couple of studies that allegedly proved that sexual harassment training is worse than doing nothing...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

Federal Government Provides Schools New Guidance Regarding Transgender Students

Two divisions of the federal government have weighed in on the recent legal controversies surrounding accommodations for transgender students. The U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S....more

Department of Justice and Office of Civil Rights Issue Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students

On Friday, May 13, 2016, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice released joint guidance entitled Dear Colleague Letter on Transgender Students (“Guidance”). This guidance is provided pursuant to the Departments’...more

Government Issues New Guidance on Transgender Students

The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education issued a joint Dear Colleague Letter on May 13, 2016, clarifying that Title IX prohibits discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status. The guidance states...more

California Legislative Update

The California legislature has reached the midpoint of its 2016 legislative session. The Governor has signed four bills of significance to California private sector employers. In addition, a few dozen workplace-related bills...more

New Federal Guidelines on Supporting Transgender Students Under Title IX

Amidst a recently intensified national debate regarding support for transgender students in schools, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Education (DOE) today issued new guidance setting out guidelines for...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

NY Transit Agencies Escape Vicarious Liability for Contractors Alleged Discrimination

It is not uncommon for companies to contract their daily business operations to third-party companies. In Motta et al v. Global Contact Services, Inc., the court addressed whether such relationships relieve the outsourcing...more

Achiote Restaurant To Pay $27,500 To Settle EEOC Male-On-Male Sexual Harassment / Retaliation Suit

Several Young Mexican-American Males Secretly Videotaped in Men's Room, Federal Agency Charged - SAN DIEGO - A San Ysidro, Calif., restaurant will pay $27,500 and furnish remedial relief to settle a male-on-male class...more

Are Your HR Investigation Notes Protected Against Disclosure? Maybe, Maybe Not.

Just last month, two federal district courts reached different conclusions, further contributing to the confusion as to whether notes taken during a Human Resources department investigation of a discrimination or harassment...more

Fifth Circuit Rejects EEOC's Position on Reasonable Belief Standard for Reactive Retaliation Claims

In 2009’s Crawford decision, the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that an employee who participates in an employer’s harassment or discrimination investigation as a third-party witness, falls within federal anti-retaliation...more

County Fair Farm Settles EEOC Class Sex Harassment and Retaliation Suit

Maine Farm Subjected Farmworkers to Abuse Since 2003, Federal Agency Charged - BOSTON - The federal district court in Portland, Maine has approved a consent decree resolving discrimination litigation brought by U.S....more

EEOC Not Required to Conciliate Class Claims On an Individual Basis

In last year’s Mach Mining decision, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is required to attempt to settle (“conciliate”) discrimination claims before bringing suit against...more

Mayor de Blasio Signs New Laws Strengthening NYC’s Human Rights Law

On Monday, March 28, 2016, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed several bills (Intros 814-A, 818-A, and 819) amending the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”). The amendments strengthen employee protections by changing existing...more

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