Sexual Harassment Hiring & Firing

News & Analysis as of

How to Address and Prevent Systemic Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

With sexual harassment suits carrying multimillion-dollar price tags, what can employers do to avoid the sting of litigation?...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: October 2016 #3

Last week, the EEOC held a public meeting on the growing use of big data and predictive analytics in employment decision-making. A panel of industrial psychologists, attorneys, and labor economists told the EEOC that the use...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: October 2016 #2

Last week, The EEOC announced a public meeting on the use of big data in employment practices. This gathering is a continuation of the agency’s interest in the relationship between data analytics and discrimination. EEOC...more

Second Circuit “Purrs” On Cat’s Paw Liability Case

Seyfarth Synopsis: Recently, the Second Circuit held that the “cat’s paw” theory of liability may be used to support recovery for claims of retaliation where an employer negligently relies on information provided by a...more

EEOC Sues Plastipak Packaging For Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Plastics Manufacturing Company Fired Materials Handler Because She Complained About Harassment, Federal Agency Charges - BALTIMORE - Plastipak Packaging, Inc. violated federal law when it fired a materials handler in...more

2016 California Labor and Employment Legislation Update: It’s Final!

Seyfarth Synopsis: Employers in California: be aware and prepare for new laws increasing minimum wages and mandating overtime pay for agricultural employees; expanding the California Fair Pay Act to race and ethnicity and to...more

Watch Out for the Cat’s Paw - Employers May Be Accountable for Low-Level Employee Actions

In the world of employment law, there is something called the “Cat’s Paw” theory of liability. The name comes from a fable dating back to the 17th century in which a clever monkey persuades a naïve cat to pull roasting...more

Cat’s Paw Making New Tracks: Second Circuit Extends Cat’s Paw Principle to Retaliation Claims and to Low-Level Employees

The “cat’s paw” doctrine, a concept first coined by Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner in 1990 and adopted by the Supreme Court in 2011, applies when an employee is subjected to an adverse employment action by a decision...more

Don’t Be A Cat’s-Paw

Most sexual harassment policies include a procedure to investigate complaints, often specifying that the investigation will be timely and thorough, and may include interviews with the employees involved, witnesses, and anyone...more

Persistent “sexual annoyance” of five female coworkers gets employee fired for cause, despite late reporting of incidents

A shelter support worker’s persistent pattern of sexual comments to five female coworkers justified his dismissal for cause, despite the coworkers’ failure to promptly report the incidents, a labour arbitrator has decided....more

Employers Beware of the Cat's Paw

The cat scratches again! Five years ago, the United States Supreme Court handed down Staub v. Proctor Hospital, wherein it held that an employer may be liable for a supervisor's discriminatory animus when the independent...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: September 2016 #2

Last week, as we learned that the CIA has invested in another Big Data analytics startup, new headlines and commentary addressed the dangers of hidden bias in technology. LinkedIn changed its search algorithm after the...more

Ambulance Service Liable for Sexting Monkey?

An ambulance service may be liable for damages arising from sexting by a monkey it employed, the Second Circuit ruled on August 29. Actually, the monkey was a man, but the court sided with a female employee who sued the...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

The Cat Is Out of the Bag: Second Circuit Rules Cat’s Paw Theory Applies to Nonmanagerial Coworkers

Rarely has the maxim “hard cases make bad law” found greater application than in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent decision to expand the “cat’s paw” doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States in...more

HR Abdicates Control

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently taught employers what can happen when Human Resources abandons an investigation half-way through. In Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Serv., Inc., No,. 15-3239-cv (2d Cir. Aug. 29,...more

About that new “cat’s paw” decision . . .

Employers should beware of being too quick to believe an employee who accuses a co-worker of wrongdoing. If the accuser has an illegal motive (such as discrimination or retaliation), and if the employer is “negligent” in...more

Second Circuit Reverses Dismissal Of Retaliation Claim Citing Cat’s Paw Liability

The Second Circuit recently invoked a 17th century fable in reviving an employee’s retaliation claim against her employer even where the employer had no retaliatory intent. In Vasquez v. Empress Ambulance Service, SDNY,...more

Shoddy Harassment Investigation Comes Back To Bite Employer

Employers, has this ever happened to you? An employee has accused her boss of sexual harassment. Right now, it’s her word against his, but you might be able to find out the truth if you interview her co-workers. The...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: August 2016 #4

Last week, a federal judge dismissed a transgender discrimination lawsuit brought by the EEOC, citing the company owner’s religious beliefs and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The case involved the termination of a...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: August 2016 #3

Last week, Vanity Fair reported that the ongoing settlement talks between Gretchen Carlson and Roger Ailes may contemplate a settlement payment in the eight-figure range as more and more women claim sexual harassment by the...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: August 2016 #2

Last week, Massachusetts became the first state to prohibit employers from asking about salary history before offering a candidate a position. The law is designed to help close the gender wage gap. Supporters argued that...more

Federal Judge Awards $1,470,000 in EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Case Against Z Foods

Workers Who Were Sexually Harassed and Fired for Complaining Vindicated in Court's Ruling - FRESNO, Calif. - A federal judge has ordered Z Foods, Inc., once one of the largest dried fruit processors in the United States,...more

Employment Law Navigator – Week in Review: July 2016 #3

The combined topics of Facebook and race were in the news last week. A Pennsylvania judge ruled that an employee’s personal Facebook page laced with race-based stereotypes could be used to impeach her in her lawsuit, which...more

Quirky Question #284: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, can you still unlawfully retaliate against it?

Question: One of our male supervisors wants to fire a female employee who complained that he was sexually harassing her. The harassment allegations appear to have some substance: he asked her for pictures of herself in a...more

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