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Category Archives: Harassment

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Be thankful you’re not an employment law turkey

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Pregnancy, Retaliation, Social media, Work-Life Balance
Well, it’s that time of year again – what are you thankful for? Here are some Human Resources and employment law matters for which I am thankful. Please feel free to add your own in the comments. I’m thankful that I’m not Trey Gowdy. The Republican Congressman from South Carolina and chair of the House Benghazi Committee is not out, but he’s… Continue Reading

BEFORE YOU SUE: 10 questions every employee should ask

Posted in Class actions, Discrimination, Employment at Will, Evidence, Harassment, Retaliation
Last week, we talked about 20 things an employer should ask itself before terminating an employee. In the interests of fairness, here are 10 things that an employee should ask before suing an employer. You should know that I generally don’t believe that lawsuits are the best way to resolve problems. (I realize that there are exceptions.)… Continue Reading

BEFORE YOU FIRE: 20 questions every employer should ask

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Employment at Will, Evidence, Family and Medical Leave Act, Harassment, Labor Relations, Protected Concerted Activity, Retaliation, Safety, Settlements, Unemployment, Workers' Compensation
So you think you’re ready to terminate an employee. Are you really? Here are 20 questions that every employer should ask itself before going ahead with a termination. If you think I’ve missed anything, please feel free to add your own in the comments. GETTING STARTED No. 1. Is the employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement?… Continue Reading

Straight from the source: EEOC’s 10 hottest litigation trends

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Background Checks, Class actions, Discrimination, Harassment, Pregnancy, Retaliation, Settlements, Telecommuting
Last week I heard David Lopez, General Counsel of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, speak about EEOC litigation developments at the annual North Carolina/South Carolina Labor and Employment Law conference. The EEOC has been litigating like a house afire, so I knew you would want to hear what he had to say. Mr. Lopez – who… Continue Reading

4 thoughts on the Ashley Madison hack

Posted in Harassment, Social media
Four quick thoughts on the Ashley Madison hack: 1. Should you post anything on the internet that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the New York Times? “No” used to be standard advice, but that isn’t practical any more. I do online banking, but that doesn’t mean I want my financial information all over the internet. Nor… Continue Reading


Posted in Harassment, Settlements
The Marchuk v. Faruqi law firm sexual harassment case has been “amicably resolved.” Now, what will we gossip about? (To see why I’m disappointed, go here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. Apparently, I wasn’t just “following” this case – I was stalking it.) After the verdict that pleased no one, both sides… Continue Reading

Is it “disparaging” to say “Karma is a bi**h”?

Posted in Harassment, Settlements
Riddle me this: Employee sues her boss for sexual harassment. Case settles for $127,500, and she has to agree to confidentiality and non-disparagement. About nine years later, boss becomes an internet pariah for allegedly poaching a beautiful and beloved lion in Zimbabwe. Somebody in the media finds out about the sexual harassment settlement (how’d they do… Continue Reading

Thanks a LOT, Mr. President!

Posted in Harassment
As you know, I strongly disapprove of use of the “N” word in the workplace. I don’t think African-Americans should say it, and I really, really don’t think people who aren’t African-American should use it. Well, this weekend President Obama used the “N” word, and he didn’t say “the ‘N’ word.” In a podcast interview with comedian… Continue Reading

Harassment “must-have” no. 5: No retaliation!

Posted in Harassment, Retaliation
We have reached the fifth and final of our five harassment “must-haves”: No retaliation. It should be easy to avoid retaliation, right? Because retaliatory conduct is intentional – you can’t “accidentally” retaliate against someone. You can’t “negligently” seek payback. To retaliate, you have to work at it. Of course, that would make life way too simple. Employers can negligently… Continue Reading

Harassment “must-have” no. 4: The Determination

Posted in Harassment
It’s the moment of truth! (Dum-dum-DUM!) Two weeks ago, we talked about harassment “must-haves” 1 and 2: a good, plain-language policy, and training. Last week, we talked about “must-have” 3: the investigation. Now it’s time to talk about “must-have” 4: a fair, legally defensible determination of what happened and what action to take. During the investigation… Continue Reading

“Must-haves” for your harassment investigation

Posted in Harassment
Last week, I posted about harassment “must-haves” for employers, and talked in detail about the first two: a good policy, and training. This week I’d like to talk about “must-have” no. 3 – a prompt, thorough, and fair investigation. PROMPT. “Prompt,” in the context of a harassment investigation, means that you act as soon as you… Continue Reading

Five harassment “must haves” for employers

Posted in Harassment
Maybe it’s just me, but workplace harassment issues seem to come in waves — I’ll go months, or even a year, without an issue, and then WHAM! everybody has a “situation,” or at least they need to get their preventive training done.   Right now, we’re in a bit of a “flash flood,” so I thought it might be a… Continue Reading

Is this new harassment decision the end of the world for employers?

Posted in Harassment, Retaliation
Are harassment and retaliation lawsuits all going to the jury now? Are employers doomed? Are the plaintiffs’ lawyers popping the champagne corks? Is the EEOC dancing for joy? The employment law world is abuzz about last week’s racial harassment/retaliation decision from my own U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. (Many thanks to an attorney friend who emailed a… Continue Reading

Faruqi sex harassment verdict is in! Marchuk wins, to an extent.

Posted in Defamation, Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Torts
Law360 reports this afternoon that the jury returned a verdict for Alexandra Marchuk and against defendants Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, and partner Juan Monteverde. The jury awarded her $90,000 in actual damages, and punitive damages will be determined later. She had asked for $2 million. Ms. Marchuk won on her hostile work environment claim under… Continue Reading

Feb. 3 at Faruqi sex harassment trial: It’s up to the jury now

Posted in Defamation, Discrimination, Evidence, Harassment, Retaliation, Sexual Torts
The sexual harassment case of Alexandra Marchuk v. Faruqi & Faruqi went to the jury late yesterday afternoon. For previous coverage of the trial, go here, here, here, here, here, and here. In closing arguments, the attorney for the defendants called Ms. Marchuk a “wolf” and said she had made up her allegations to get… Continue Reading

Jan. 29 at Faruqi sex harassment trial: Your honor, please reconsider!

Posted in Defamation, Discrimination, Evidence, Harassment, Sexual Torts
As expected, Law360 reports this morning that Plaintiff Alexandra Marchuk has asked Judge Alvin Hellerstein to reconsider his ruling that Nadeem Faruqi and Lubna Faruqi, co-founders of the New York law firm Faruqi & Faruqi, be dismissed from her lawsuit as individual defendants. She also requested reconsideration of the court’s decision granting judgment to the… Continue Reading

Jan. 28 at Faruqi sex harassment trial: The defense rests.

Posted in Defamation, Discrimination, Evidence, Harassment, Retaliation, Sexual Torts
The defense completed its case yesterday at the trial of Alexandra Marchuk’s sexual harassment claims against the New York City law firm of Faruqi & Faruqi and partner Juan Monteverde. Prior coverage of the trial is available here, here, here, and here. Yesterday, Mr. Monteverde testified more about the blood-stained carpet, saying he had not… Continue Reading

Jan. 27 at Faruqi trial: No “spoliation” of blood-stained carpet, judge says

Posted in Discrimination, Evidence, Harassment, Sexual Torts
January 27 at the Marchuk v. Faruqi sexual harassment trial: Judge Alvin Hellerstein has denied Alexandra Marchuk’s request for an adverse inference instruction based on Faruqi’s destruction of the alleged blood-stained carpet in Juan Monteverde’s office. Judge Hellerstein noted that Ms. Marchuk admitted in her trial testimony that she asked Mr. Monteverde to hide the… Continue Reading