Litigating against the the EEOC is difficult for several reasons. For one, unlike a lawsuit brought by an individual plaintiff, a suit brought by the EEOC has the resources of the entire federal government behind it. Perhaps because of the agency’s bureaucratic structure, negotiating with EEOC counsel can be difficult during litigation, at times resulting in a total breakdown of communication. A recent decision by a federal court in Illinois illustrates what happens when the lawyers in an employment-discrimination lawsuit take the driver’s seat to the exclusion of the individuals at the heart of the case. Continue reading
Workplace anti-harassment training can be summarized with the title of this post. The fact that an employee laughs at an inappropriate joke is not a legal defense to a later claim at harassment. Nor is an employee’s failure to object to inappropriate workplace conduct. One employer recently learned this lesson the hard way. Continue reading
In Meditz v. City of Newark (PDF), the Third Circuit concluded that the City of Newark, New Jersey’s residency requirement may have unlawful disparate impact on non-Hispanic white applicants. The case was brought Gregory Meditz, an attorney acting pro se. Meditz alleged that the City’s residency requirement disparately impacted white, non-Hispanics and, as a result, white, non-Hispanics were under-represented in the City’s workforce. Continue reading
Music may be an art form to some. But some music may be a form of harassment. The EEOC has reach an agreement with Novellus Systems wherein the San-Jose based employer will pay $168,000 to a former employee for race-based harassment. The claim alleges that the employee was terminated after he complained about racially offensive music played by a co-worker. Continue reading
Good documentation practices during the hiring process can help employers avoid a failure-to-hire claim. And that’s a good thing, considering that failure-to-hire claims are costly. Just ask Perdue. The poultry company has agreed to a pay out of more than $800k to settle a claim of disparate impact arising from what the DOL concluded to be systematic discrimination against non-Hispanic job applicants. Continue reading
NASCAR has been sued for race discrimination, gender discrimination, and sexual harassment. The plaintiff, a black female former official, seeks $225 million in damages.
The plaintiff, Mauricia Grant, worked as a technical inspector in NASCAR’s second-tier Nationwide Series until she was fired in October 2007. She’d been with the organization since 2005, when she alleges the harassment and discrimination began. Continue reading
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) can add another major victory to the scorebooks. Earlier this week, the Commission settled a discrimination lawsuit for $2.2 million. The actions at issue are said to trace back to a supervisor who is no longer with the restaurant. This should be a wake-up call for employers who don’t provide employment-law training to supervisors, helping to prevent and eliminate discrimination and harassment in the workplace. Continue reading