Not So Simply Irresistible, Says Iowa Supreme Court

I’ve posted more than my share of stories involving allegations by employees that they were terminated because they were “too sexy” for the job. For example, there was the female banker who sued Citigroup, alleging that she was terminated for being “too sexy for her job.” Then there was the data-entry employee who was terminated from her job in a lingerie warehouse for, she alleged, wearing what her employer considered to be clothing that was “too sexy.” Continue reading

Employees Must Turn Over Facebook Info For Harassment Claim

The discoverability of social-media evidence is far from a settled question. Many of the few cases that have addressed the question are employment claims. And the latest such decision is no exception. In EEOC v. Original Honeybaked Ham Company of Georgia, Inc., No. 11-02560-MSK_MEH (D. Col. Nov. 7, 2012), the Colorado District Court granted an employer’s motion to compel and required the employee-class members to turn over their log-in and passwords to a special master, who would make an initial determination of discoverability. Continue reading

Tasting Breast Milk And Other Alleged Misdeeds in the Library of Congress

I’ve written on lactation and sexual harassment policies – I didn’t anticipate the opportunity to discuss both in the same article. As reported in the Washington Post, the Library of Congress recently settled a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by one of its librarians. The librarian alleged that the former Chief of the Law Library for the Library of Congress sexually harassed her and other librarians. Among the specific allegations were that he made remarks about female staffers’ bodies and informed some he’d tasted human breast milk. Continue reading

More Men Filing Sexual Harassment Claims

WSJ Online reports on an increase in the number of sexual-harassment complaints filed by men.

I can’t say that I’m surprised, especially in light of the parallel increase in the number of males who have been laid off or terminated for economic reasons. The unavoidable reality is that individuals are more likely to file a claim or a lawsuit when they’re out of work and, especially, when work is hard to find. Since September 2008, twice as many men have lost their jobs as compared to women. Which could explain the 12% increase in harassment claims brought by men since 2006. Continue reading

3d Circuit Decision on Who Is a “Supervisor” for the Purposes of Imputing Harassment Liability

Employers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Virgin Islands, who are within the jurisdiction of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, have the benefit of a new decision from that court providing guidance on a key issue in harassment law.  The case, Huston v. Procter & Gamble Paper Products Corp., issued on June 8, is good news for employers and offers important precedent in a critical area of employment law.  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

The Death of a Sexual-Harassment Policy

Savvy employers know the potential value of a sexual harassment policy.  Without an effective harassment policy, employers may not avail themselves of the most common (and successful) defense.  Employers take pains to ensure that their sexual and other types of harassment policies are thorough, are communicated to employees, and are capable of remedying the conduct as promptly and effectively as possible.   Continue reading

EEOC Files Retaliation Claim Against Verizon: How to Make Sure You’re Not Next

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has filed suit against Philadelphia-employer, Verizon, alleging unlawful retaliation.  The complaint was filed on behalf of former service technician, Theresa Allen, who worked at the company’s Bryn Mawr facility until last year.  Allen, who is in her 50s, was the only female employee at that location until October 2006.  Continue reading