News & Analysis as of

Policing the workplace: Are you my supervisor?

A recent Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals case involving the rape of an employee by her superior clarifies the Tenth Circuit’s case law on when an individual is considered a “supervisor,” and also provides a cautionary tale for...more

“Locker Room” Talk In All-Male Workplace Sexual Harassment, Fifth Circuit Rules

In this space, we have reported recently on the series of rebuffs that the EEOC has received from various courts in recent months. But in EEOC v. Boh Brothers Construction Company, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals handed...more

Fifth Circuit Hands Win to EEOC in Same-Sex Harassment

The EEOC won a significant victory on September 30, 2013, as the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, sitting en banc, reinstated a jury verdict finding that the defendant, Boh Brothers Construction...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

Zoria Farms and Z Foods Sued by EEOC for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Dried Fruit Producer Fired a Class of Workers Who Protested the Widespread Abuse by Supervisors, Federal Agency Charges - FRESNO, Calif. - Z Foods, Inc., doing business as Zoria Farms, and its predecessor company,...more

New Jersey Supreme Court Takes Broad View Of Protected Complaints Under NJLAD, But Narrow View Under CEPA

On July 17, 2013, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that a plaintiff need not demonstrate an actual violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (NJLAD), let alone an identifiable victim, to prove a claim of...more

A New Supreme Court Decision Helps Employers in Harassment Cases

The United States Supreme Court’s decision in Vance v. Ball State just made it easier for employers to defend against some Title VII harassment lawsuits. In a 5-4 decision, the Court rejected the harassment claims brought by...more

Raising the Bar on Employer Liability for Harassment and Retaliation

On June 24, the Supreme Court issued two new opinions in favor of employers, both five-to-four decisions that narrowly construe the scope of Title VII’s retaliation and employer liability rules and significantly raise the bar...more

California Employment Law Notes - July 2013

Employee Must Prove That Illegal Retaliation Was The "But For" Cause Of Adverse Job Action Under Title VII - University of Tex. S.W. Med. Ctr. v. Nassar, 570 U.S. ___, 2013 WL 3155234 (2013) - The United States...more

Recent United States Supreme Court Decisions Affecting Employers

Just recently, the United States Supreme Court issued two decisions affecting employers where employees allege unlawful retaliation or harassment under Title VII. In University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Who Qualifies As A Supervisor In Title VII Cases

In Title VII harassment cases, liability of an employer may depend on whether the harassing employee is the victim’s co-worker or supervisor. The United States Supreme Court was recently faced with the task of defining who...more

Conducting Workplace Investigations

Recently, when advising a client who was investigating a complaint of sexual harassment, I had the opportunity to revisit the EEOC’s Enforcement Guidance: Vicarious Employer Liability for Unlawful Harassment by Supervisors...more

Are You My Supervisor?

Late last month, the Supreme Court considered whether and when a co-worker can be deemed a supervisor for purposes of evaluating if the employer is strictly liable for that person’s harassment of another employee....more

Who Is Really A Supervisor? Employer Liability For Hostile Work Environment Claims

The Supreme Court recently held oral arguments in the case Vance v. Ball State University, 646 F.3d 461 (7th Cir. 2011), which addresses the meaning of a "supervisor" in hostile work environment claims. If the Court applies...more

Who Is a “Supervisor” Under Title VII and Why You Should Care

Oral Argument in Vance v. Ball State University Takes an Unexpected Turn - Late last month the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument in Vance v. Ball State University, No. 11-556. The issue that Vance is expected to...more

Pushing the Limits of PDA

When last night’s episode originally aired on February 10, 2011, I noted that the Scranton office more closely resembled a nightclub at the height of the sexual revolution than a reputable place of business – see my original...more

Discrimination or Harassment Plaintiff: Play the hand you're dealt

Sexual harassment claims often come from things you can't fully control. A rouge supervisor. An on-the-side workplace romance that goes bad. On top of that, you can't pick the employee who gets harassed and turns...more

Romance At Work

Attached is a recent article that we published in the Legal Intelligencer that concerns romance at work and the problems it can present....more

Employer Faces Trial For Failing to Prevent Employee's Sexual Overtures to Fellow Employee

Workplace romances are not unusual. But when do an employee's romantic overtures to another employee cross the line and become sexual harassment? Under what circumstances can an employer be held liable for failing to prevent...more

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