LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Does USERRA Protect Against a Hostile Work Environment?

by Vanessa L. Goddard Several months ago, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas) issued an extremely interesting opinion and, in the process, became the first federal appellate court to definitively address whether the Uniformed Services Employment and...

Horrible Bosses: Telling Employee to Forget About Her Daughter "Because She's Dead" Not Evidence of a Hostile Work Environment

The New Jersey Boss Who Told Grieving Mother To Forget Deceased Daughter The Superior Court of New Jersey (one step above a Common Pleas court and one step below New Jersey's Supreme Court), issued a recent employment-law decision that has made national news . For me, the decision is...

Betting on a Lawsuit

There have been a lot of bad bets made over time. For example, two years ago I bet on the World Series and, after the Phillies lost, had to painfully write a blog post praising the Yankees . On The Office last week, newly-appointed regional manager Andy Bernard bet his staff a butt tattoo that they...

Betting on Who Will Get Fired Next - COTW #61

Some employers terminate their employees pretty often. Sometimes there are even rumors about who will get fired next. But you know what's probably not a good idea for employers? Holding a contest in which employees place $10 bets on who will get fired next! Bad idea, great Case of the Week! ...

Equal-Opportunity Jerks Take the "Sex" Out of Sexual Harassment

To prove sexual harassment, a plaintiff must have been subjected to pervasive or severe behavior that would make the plaintiff (and a reasonable person in the plaintiff's shoes) believe that the working environment are hostile or abusive. Wait, I'm forgetting something. Oh yeah, the complained...

Equal Opportunity Harassment Is Not Unlawful Sexual Harassment

For harassment to qualify as sexual harassment it must be because of sex. That means that the complained-of misconduct is of a sexual nature, or it singles out women differently than men. Non-sex-based conduct that targets women and men the same, no matter how harsh, is not sexual harassment. Case...

A Quick & Dirty Checklist on Conducting Harassment Investigations

by Vanessa L. Goddard You've heard the expression "The best defense is a good offense." Well, this is very true in the world of harassment law. For our devoted readers of this blog, we know this is preaching to the choir, but it never hurts to make a quick check of your policies...

Gay Wedding Invitation is not Harassment - COTW #65

The employment law Case of the Week is Walker v. Jackson [ opinion available to lexis.com subscribers] , an EEOC decision from October 6, 2011. It answers the age old question - if I get invited to a same sex wedding celebration, was I subjected to religious harassment? If you answered, "are...

Post-Employment Acts Don't Create a Hostile Work Environment

When Krysten Overly, a financial advisor at a bank, told her male boss that she was resigning, Overly claims that he grabbed Overly's arm to push her out the door. And as Overly left her boss's office, he yelled, "Good riddance, bitch!" What a jerk! But, as a matter of law, did...

Can One Anti-Semitic Email Make a Tenable Employee Bias Claim?

When an employee sues his former employer alleging a religiously hostile work environment, he must prove, among other things, that he was subjected to harassment based on his religion and that the harassment was either severe or pervasive. What do you think? Is the email below from a company General...

Appellate Division Holds That The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination Prohibits Workplace Harassment Based On Perceived Membership In A Protected Group

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. §§ 10:5-1 - 10:5-30 (the "NJLAD"), prohibits employers, because of the race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, sexual orientation, genetic information,...

Naked Twister, Orgies, and Facebook - COTW #105

Ah yes: naked twister, orgies, and Facebook . . . just another Case of the Week! In Targonski v. City of Oakridge , the plaintiff brought a number of workplace discrimination claims, including a sexual harassment hostile work environment claim. Her claim started off pretty well. She alleged that co-workers...

144 "N"-words, but black employees can't prove they were offended

Take a few minutes to read this decision [ enhanced version available to Lexis.com subscribers ]. It will blow your mind. Here's the long and short of it: Three black employees sue for race discrimination claiming that they were subjected to a racially-hostile work environment. The court actually...

Let's Review the Tape: Did Fired Rutgers Coach Mike Rice Create a Hostile Work Environment?

Rutgers Fires Basketball Coach Mike Rice Today, Rutgers fired Men's Basketball Coach Mike Rice, after video of his abusive actions during team practice surfaced, and was widely criticized by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Click Here to read the story from CNN.com and to view the video...

Fix Racial Harassment Before Hostile Environment Starts Affecting Employee Performance

by The HR Specialist: North Carolina Employment Law Employees who have to work in a hostile work environment may have a hard time doing their jobs well. When resulting poor performance leads management to fire someone, expect trouble. Usually, poor performance is a rock solid discharge reason. But...

A Supervisor's Swine Flu Death Wish on an Older Employee Leads to an Age Bias Claim

Yesterday, our guest blogger offered three tips for successful onboarding . Unable to match that, today, I have a less than successful way to encourage attrition -- unless of course you like defending age discrimination claims. A federal court has permitted a plaintiff's claims that his ex...

Can Crosses on Holiday Party Invitations Create a Hostile Work Environment?

Remember yesterday, when I was talking about religious accommodations , I said, "Treat all religions equally." That same rule applies to casting out the evil devil of religious discrimination generally. Church! After the jump, from my bloggerdome pulpit, I'm preaching my religion...