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

Who Says I’m a Girly Man? Doth Sayeth the EEOC

The EEOC has enjoyed several victories in recent months. For example, the EEOC was granted summary judgment in a hostile-environment claim filed on behalf of a class of black construction workers. Even more recently, the EEOC was awarded summary judgment in an age-discrimination lawsuit against the City of Baltimore. But things haven’t been all peaches and cream for the EEOC. Continue reading

Harassment Prevention: It’s All Fun and Games . . . Until It’s Not

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

Albertsons Pays $8.9 Million to Settle EEOC Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuits

eeoc_3The EEOC announced last week that large grocery store chain Albertsons has agreed to pay $8.9 million to settle three lawsuits in which the EEOC alleged that it had engaged in race, color and national origin discrimination, and retaliation, at a distribution center in Aurora, Colorado. Continue reading

Employee Handbooks: Anti-Harassment Tip Sheet

Employee_HandbooksA legally effective anti-harassment policy is an absolute requirement for any employee handbook.  There is not a single reason to not have a policy that effectively establishes the organization’s prohibition against harassment and related retaliation.  But there are millions of reasons to make sure that your handbook includes such a policy and that the workplace is set to manage a complaint of harassment should it receive one.   Continue reading

Disrespectful Workplace Costs State $314k

eeoc_3Workplace bullying is not unlawful. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), is not stopped by that, though.  It has entered into a consent decree with the State of Oregon, ending a lawsuit involving workplace bullying.  The case, filed by the EEOC on behalf of Sheri Peters, a former juvenile court clerk, was filed under federal employment laws but, at its core, alleged egregious workplace bullying. Continue reading

Former Ohio AG Is Accused of Fostering a Hostile Environment (Again)

As layoffs increase, so do claims of age discrimination. Age-based harassment, though, is less common.  A 49-year-old aide to former Ohio AG Marc Dann claims that Dann’s managers used profanity and called him a “dinosaur,” resulting in what he claims was harassment and age-discrimination.  This claim comes in the middle of an already scandalous period for the former AG, who has been accused of fostering an unlawfully hostile work environment. Continue reading