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Category Archives: Harassment

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Ailes is out

Posted in Harassment
With only $60 million to call his own? For my prior coverage of the Gretchen Carlson-Roger Ailes sexual harassment allegations, go here and here. Here is the Fox press release. Reportedly Megyn Kelly and other Fox News women told an outside law firm that was investigating Ms. Carlson’s allegations that Mr. Ailes had behaved inappropriately… Continue Reading

Gretchen Carlson v. Roger Ailes — can he sue her?

Posted in Alternative Dispute Resolution, Defamation, Harassment
Me and my nerdy mind. It’s too soon for me to have an opinion about who’s right and who’s wrong in the Gretchen Carlson-Roger Ailes sexual harassment case. Some very disturbing allegations have been made about Mr. Ailes’ (long before Fox) having a “casting couch” for prospective female talent. If that’s true, then it’s disgusting. On the other hand,… Continue Reading

EEOC sexual orientation lawsuit settles for $200K plus

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Orientation
As I’ve previously reported, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed two lawsuits alleging that employers discriminated against employees based on sexual orientation, which the Commission says is prohibited by Title VII. One of the lawsuits, filed against Pallet Companies/IFCO Systems, settled this week for $202,200. The former employee will receive $182,200, and the remainder… Continue Reading

25 quick takes (no kidding!) on the EEOC’s proposed national origin guidance

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation
These will be really quick takes, since there are so many of them, on the proposed Enforcement Guidance on National Origin Discrimination issued this week by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (The actual document is 57 pages long, not counting the table of contents.) I’ll try to focus on the less obvious/more interesting points. Take No.… Continue Reading

Is sexual harassment training a turn-off for men?

Posted in Harassment
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 because it makes men resentful and more likely to tolerate harassment. Wow. That’s terrible! Except that it’s not precisely true. What these… Continue Reading

An open love letter to Justice Clarence Thomas

Posted in Class actions, Discrimination, Harassment, Transportation Industry
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 party” in a Title VII case – would make any employment defense lawyer’s heart skip a… Continue Reading

EEOC posts fact sheets on LGBT discrimination, transgender issues

Posted in Discrimination, ENDA, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Settlements, Sexual Orientation
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has published a new Fact Sheet on LGBT discrimination that employers will find helpful. As I’ve reported before here and here, the agency is taking an aggressive position regarding coverage of LGBT issues under Title VII’s sex discrimination provisions. The EEOC’s fact sheet, as well as other materials linked in it,… Continue Reading

Lego-based workplace harassment will NOT be tolerated.

Posted in Harassment, Unemployment, Violence
You’ve heard of sex-based harassment, race-based harassment, and disability-based harassment. But have you ever heard of Lego-based harassment? Shawn Roy was terminated from his job because he was allegedly creating and posting on the internet violent and sexually-oriented videos using Legos that allegedly bore resemblance to his supervisors and co-workers. I viewed the one video… Continue Reading

“Lighten up, baby,” and other harassment “best practices” for employers

Posted in Harassment
Dear Readers: Not that anything in this blog constitutes legal advice anyway, but before you accuse me of legal malpractice based on the following post, please notice today’s date. Happy April Fool’s Day! Robin Many employers ask me: “Robin, what are your ‘best practices’ for workplace sexual harassment?” I’m glad you asked! No. 1: Be sure that… Continue Reading

Is your company small? The EEOC has a little fact sheet that may help.

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a nice little “fact sheet” this week for small businesses, summarizing their obligations under the laws that the EEOC enforces. Here’s a link. Just be aware that “sex,” in the EEOC’s opinion, includes sexual orientation and gender identity. (No jokes about small hands or “little” presidential candidates.)… Continue Reading

BREAKING: EEOC files 2 Title VII suits alleging sexual orientation bias

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment, Sexual Orientation
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed today two lawsuits contending that employers’ alleged discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation violates the Title VII ban on sex discrimination. One suit was filed on behalf of a gay call center employee in Pennsylvania, and the other was filed on behalf of a lesbian forklift operator in Maryland. Here… Continue Reading

Why shouldn’t supervisors investigate workplace harassment? They’re too normal.

Posted in Harassment
I have recommended on this blog and in harassment training that “operations” people (in other words, people who aren’t in Human Resources or lawyers) avoid the temptation to investigate workplace harassment complaints on their own. A commenter asked me last week why I said this. I thanked her for giving me the inspiration for a blog… Continue Reading

Be my workplace valentine? We’ll see . . .

Posted in Harassment, Sexual Torts
Happy Valentine’s Day! (almost) Psychology Today had a great article by social psychologist and professor Theresa DiDonato about nine questions one should ask oneself before starting a workplace romance. Of course, the article was written primarily from a psychological point of view, but I think the same questions work from a legal standpoint. Here are… Continue Reading

Transgender roadmap: 10 steps the EEOC thinks employers should take

Posted in Discrimination, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment
Law360 reported yesterday morning that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission settled a transgender discrimination and harassment lawsuit (not our Detroit-area funeral home case). Although the employer entered into the consent decree voluntarily, we now have a pretty good idea of what the EEOC thinks employers should do in dealing with employees who are transgender or have other gender identity variances.… Continue Reading

Why the EEOC believes Title VII bans sexual orientation bias

Posted in Discrimination, ENDA, Gender Identity Discrimination, Harassment
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a “friend of the court” brief in a sexual orientation discrimination appeal, arguing that sexual orientation discrimination is “sex discrimination” prohibited by Title VII. (Thanks to EEOC General Counsel David Lopez for alerting me.) I am a skeptic on this subject. Title VII was enacted in 1964, and legend… Continue Reading

Who was naughty, and who was nice in employment law this year

Posted in Affordable Care Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Discrimination, Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act, GINA, Harassment, Labor Relations, Lawyers!, Pregnancy, Protected Concerted Activity, Retaliation, Safety, Social media, Telecommuting, Wage-Hour
Who’s been naughty and who’s been nice in labor and employment law? Here are my picks for 2015. Feel free to add your own in the comments. NAUGHTY! The National Labor Relations Board, for being naughty in too many ways to mention. Its rules on employer handbook policies, including confidentiality and social media, are unrealistic… Continue Reading

Supreme Court to review CRST attorneys’ fee award against EEOC

Posted in Class actions, Discrimination, Harassment, Transportation Industry
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed last Friday to review a decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, which vacated a multi-million attorneys’ fee award for trucking company CRST Van Expedited, Inc. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission initially sued CRST on behalf of roughly 270 women who were allegedly sexually harassed in their… Continue Reading

It’s the 2015 workplace holiday party quiz!

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Independent Contractor, Off-Duty Conduct, Sexual Torts, Wage-Hour, Workers' Compensation
Chanukah starts at sundown this Sunday, and Christmas is only three short weeks away. Can you throw a workplace holiday party that won’t result in a lawsuit? It has been ages since we’ve had a quiz. Let’s do it! For more on this topic, please listen to the webinar on holiday parties that I did yesterday… Continue Reading

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