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Category Archives: Harassment

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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

Darn.

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

Two thoughts on the Faruqi sexual harassment trial

Posted in Harassment
NOTE TO READERS: I am updating this post daily with the previous day’s trial testimony. As of January 21, I have also decided to reorganize the post to include the most recent testimony before the jump. Prior days’ testimony will be below the jump, as well as my “two cents,” which I posted last week… Continue Reading

15 for ’15: Employment and labor resolutions for the new year

Posted in Affirmative Action, Affordable Care Act, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Americans with Disabilities Act, Background Checks, Discrimination, Drug Testing, Equal Pay, ERISA, Family and Medical Leave Act, Harassment, Independent Contractor, Labor Relations, Lactation, Pregnancy, Protected Concerted Activity, Safety, Social media, Wage-Hour
By David Phippen of our Metro D.C. Office. While the year is still young, here are 15 New Year’s resolutions that employers may want to make: 1. Make sure your “independent contractors” are really independent contractors. “Independent contractors” are under scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, state… Continue Reading

Year-end employment law roundup — happy 2015!

Posted in Americans with Disabilities Act, Class actions, Discrimination, eLaw, Family and Medical Leave Act, Harassment, Labor Relations, Retaliation, Wage-Hour
NOTE: On January 15, this post was updated and one correction made (see “Nipped in the bud” and “Jury clobbers Catholic diocese,” below).  Happy New Year, everyone! While I’ve been out for the holidays, the courts and government agencies have stayed busy with employment law matters. Here are the developments that I thought were especially… Continue Reading

Christmas won’t be merry for these employers!

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Employment Law Blog Carnival, Harassment, Labor Relations, Lactation, Pregnancy, Wage-Hour
Oh, you better watch out! A lot of employers have been naughty. I checked the court dockets, and would you believe all of these employment lawsuits filed in the week before Christmas!  Cratchit v. Scrooge & Marley (Madison Co. (London) OH Ct. of Common Pleas). Plaintiff asserts claims against employer under Americans with Disabilities Act, contending he… Continue Reading

5 legal traps for the wariest employer

Posted in Affirmative Action, Americans with Disabilities Act, Employment at Will, Family and Medical Leave Act, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Protected Concerted Activity, Retaliation, Wage-Hour
You’re an employer who tries to do the right thing. But what hidden traps are out there, waiting to grab your ankle and yank you into a lawsuit? Here are a few that cause trouble for even the best employers:… Continue Reading