Women First, in the First State: But Is It Enough?

As we have been reporting for years, the Delaware General Assembly is highly active on employment issues. Some initiatives are successful, some are not, but the trend continues.  In recent years, however, the General Assembly has had a more targeted focus:  women’s issues.  Below, we outline the recent history of legislation on issues impacting women in the workplace, and whether they reflect the right focus. Continue reading

New Sexual Harassment Bill on the Horizon

If you attended our Annual Employment Law Seminar on April 12, then you already know that the ways in which employers deal with sexual harassment is changing. Even if you didn’t attend, you probably have a sense that the cultural attitude towards sexual harassment is changing. This is primarily due to movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp that are striving to bring attention and accountability to issues of sexual harassment. Continue reading

Employment Law Alliance Releases Results of #MeToo Survey

#metooThe Employment Law Alliance recently conducted a survey gaging the effect of the #MeToo Movement and Sexual Harassment in the Workplace. As part of the Employment Law Alliance, Young Conaway was one of 382 firms from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico who all helped to contribute information regarding these topics. Their survey yielded the following results: Continue reading

3 Tips for Harassment Investigations

Investigating complaints of inappropriate workplace conduct is a difficult challenge for any number of reasons. But conducting an immediate and thorough investigation is critical to both preventing lawsuits and to avoiding liability should a lawsuit arise. Human-resource professionals often ask for tips in handling this challenge. Here are three.male female sign_3

First, don’t be shy. An investigation of workplace harassment is not the time to be timid. Ask the tough questions and be direct. Don’t mince words or dance around the questions. Consider writing out the questions that you need answers to and actually check them off your list. If you don’t ask a straight question, you’ll never get a straight answer. Continue reading

NY Court Says Unpaid Intern Not Protected by Harassment Laws

The employment-discrimination laws have been expanding since their creation.  And, most of the time, that’s a good thing.  But there are times when I wonder, “Have we gone too far?”  There was the bullying craze a few years ago, when there was a push to make bullying in the workplace unlawful.  Although no decent employer (or human being) thinks that bullying is an endorsable attribute, I am of the opinion that it cannot be regulated via statute. Continue reading

Workplace Revenge and the Equal Opportunity Jerk

Being a jerk is a legal defense, so to speak.  An “equal opportunity jerk” is a boss who treats everyone badly, regardless of race, religion, gender, etc.  If his subordinates sue, alleging an unlawful hostile environment, they’ll likely have trouble establishing that the jerk was more of a jerk to one particular group of employees based on a protected characteristic. Continue reading

You Are Not the Boss of Me

The U.S. Supreme Court issued two important employment-law decisions this week and, surprising to many of us, both came out in favor of employers. Both cases will have significant impact on employment lawsuits but one of the two is of of particular interest to me because it has been an issue I’ve faced in prior cases of my own. Continue reading