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For Undocumented Women, Farm Work Rife With Harassment

"Hundreds of thousands of women and girls working on the nation’s farms and in packing houses face the threat of sexual violence and harassment, according to a report released on Wednesday by Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch recently interviewed 160 farmworkers, growers, law ...

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,...

Employer's failure to investigate harassment creates retaliation claim

If an employee complains that her supervisor is sexting her, making unwelcome physical contact, and telling her that she can get a better work schedule in exchange for "small favors," you better damn well investigate that! Ignore it and you risk losing a valuable defense to sexual harassment...

Abandoning job because of harassment does not support retaliation claim, says the 6th Circuit

Last week , I discussed the 6th Circuit's most recent pronouncement on same-sex harassment. I noted that while some would argue the Court's dismissal of the harassment claim is evidence of the need for law against workplace bullying, in reality the Court's dismissal of the retaliation claim...

820,000 reasons to have a social media policy

Yesterday, I read an article entitled, Companies Should Think Twice Before Creating Social Media Policy , which argued that "companies who scrutinize their employees' personal accounts and social media activity may be doing more harm than good." Yet, companies that ignore employees'...

Supreme Court Preview: VanDeusen and Marsh on Vance v. Ball State University

Excerpt: Note: Case links below are accessible by lexis.com subscribers Vance v. Ball State University (lexis.com subscribers may access Supreme Court briefs for this case ) addresses an issue that has split the federal appellate courts in harassment cases: who is a "supervisor" under...

EEOC's "emerging issues": LGBT rights, and accommodations for pregnant women

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued yesterday its draft Strategic Enforcement Plan . If you don't have time to slog through all the introductory material, you won't miss a thing if you skip right to Section III (Priorities). The agency proposes that its priorities will be *Systemic...

2012 SCOTUS Employment Law Preview!

It's here! The new SCOTUS season kicks off today! Let's see what kind of employment law goodies the Court has in store for us (in order of my personal preference): Supervisor Liability In Vance v. Ball State University, the Supreme Court will determine who counts as a supervisor in harassment...

Roundup of Supreme Court employment cases -- right here!

All right, kiddies. My posts over the last few weeks have been juicy and entertaining. (Or as juicy and entertaining as employment law can get.) But summer is over, and it's time to buckle down. The Supreme Court of the United States (aka "SCOTUS") began its new term this past Monday...

If you hire only people you have the hots for, is that sex discrimination?

It's a well-known fact that good-looking people have a better chance of being hired and promoted , and make more money, than less good-looking people. At least, as long as you're not too hot . Generally, there isn't much you can do about it if your opportunities are limited by male pattern...

POLITICS AT WORK: Employer Dos, Don'ts, and Be Very, Very Carefuls

After Tuesday night's rather -- intense -- Presidential debate , it was fun to watch Gov. Romney and President Obama good-naturedly tease each other at the Al Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner to benefit Catholic Charities of New York. With two and a half weeks to go until election day ( November...

Report Finds Increasing Number of Harassment and Discrimination Complaints by Congressional Employees

The Congressional Office of Compliance recently published a report that shows that the number of harassment and discrimination complaints by Congressional employees has increased over the past five years. The report, entitled "State of the Congressional Workplace," sought to determine...

Supreme Court Hears Supervisor Liability Appeal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The "supervisor" liability rule established in Faragher v. City of Boca Raton (524 U.S. 775 [1998]) and Burlington Indus., Inc. v. Ellerth (524 U.S. 742 [1998]) should apply to harassment by supervisors even if they have no power to "hire, fire, demote...

U.S. High Court Hears Supervisor Liability Appeal

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The "supervisor" liability rule established in Faragher v. City of Boca Raton (524 U.S. 775 [1998] [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ]) and Burlington Indus., Inc. v. Ellerth (524 U.S. 742 [1998] [ enhanced version ]) should apply to harassment...

Who Is a Supervisor under Title VII? (Vance v. Ball St. Univ.)

On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in one of the key employment cases it will hear this term- Vance v. Ball St. Univ. This case asks whether one can qualify as a supervisor under Title VII if one is given any authority to direct and oversee another's daily work, or if supervisory...

Supervisor Liability – SCOTUS Oral Argument for Vance v. Ball State

I will wait to draft the detailed post once the Supreme Court has actually ruled, but for those who are following SCOTUS oral arguments, one of the big employment cases of this term was heard on Nov. 25. Here is what you need to know about Vance v. Ball State : The issue is whether the "supervisor"...

Employer’s “Shockingly Thin” Response to Anonymous Harassment = $3.5 Million in Punitive Damages

The recent reinstatement of a $3.5 million award of punitive damages by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit highlighted the importance of responding promptly, thoroughly and fairly to employee complaints of harassment, even where the harassers are unknown. It also serves as...

Split Supreme Court Narrows Definition of ‘Supervisor’

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) An employer is vicariously liable for an employee's harassment only if that employee is given the power by the employer "to take tangible employment actions against the victim," a split U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 24, rejecting the Equal Employment...

Split Supreme Court Narrows Definition Of 'Supervisor'

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) An employer is vicariously liable for an employee's harassment only if that employee is given the power by the employer "to take tangible employment actions against the victim," a split U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 24, rejecting the Equal Employment Opportunity...

Vance v. Ball St. Narrows Employer Liability for Harassment

In its prologue to yesterday's Supreme Court opinion in Vance v. Ball. St. Univ. [pdf] [ an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers ], Justice Alito, writing for the five-member majority, frames the importance of the issue facing the Court: Under Title VII, an...

Paula Deen and Depositions

As would be expected, the reports of Paula Deen's deposition testimony drew wide spread media attention. USA Today had an article entitled " Paula Deen is Done, experts say ." The Food network declined to renew her contract, and she had a tearful appearance on The Today Show. The fallout...

Williams Mullen: U.S. Supreme Court Hands Down 2 Significant Cases for Employers

By David C. Burton On June 24 the United States Supreme Court handed down two significant and closely watched decisions affecting employers in Title VII cases. Both opinions came from a sharply divided court splitting five to four in both cases. The two cases were Vance v. Ball State University and...

Incidents of Race-Based Bullying Highlight Need for Prompt and Effective Responses by Educational Institutions

by Olabisi L. Okubadejo and Daniel V. Johns Educational institutions are advised to audit their procedures for investigating and responding to race-based conduct in light of recent news reports about incidents of bullying, hazing, and racial harassment. Media reports have indicated that there...

bully free school zone sign

Fishing Hole Fight Fails To State Claim For Harassment And Discrimination

A morning out fishing on the lake ended up in a lawsuit between two residents of a gated community. In Chrzanowski v. Harriz, [subscribers can access an enhanced version of this opinion: lexis.com | Lexis Advance ], plaintiff and defendant were both members of the Smoke Rise Club, which the court described...