The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued its proposed “Enforcement Guidance on Harassment in the Workplace,” which presents a legal analysis of standards for harassment and employer liability applicable to claims of harassment under the equal employment opportunity (EEO) statutes it enforces. Continue Reading EEOC issues proposed enforcement guidance on harassment in the workplace
*Special thanks to Porter Wright summer law clerk, Grace Brown, for her assistance with this post.
It’s the summer of 2020, and someone from your company posts to her public Facebook page saying, “If Black people truly wanted equality, then they wouldn’t be isolating themselves into a separate group with Black Lives Matter. All lives matter!”
Your social media marketing team discovers the employee’s post after it was shared by someone who accuses that employee, and your company, of being racist.
We recently reported that the Senate passed a #MeToo bill that banned the use of mandatory arbitration agreements for sexual harassment and sexual assault claims. This bill was signed into law by President Biden on March 3, 2022. On March 17, 2022, the House took it a step further and voted 222-209 to pass the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act (H.R. 963).
Continue Reading House passes bill banning mandatory arbitration agreements
Some employers attempt, through employment contracts, to require that employee legal challenges be pursued under private arbitration procedures, rather than through lawsuits or discrimination charges.
Continue Reading Senate passes #MeToo bill, bringing changes for employment contracts
Most employers are equipped to respond to employee allegations of harassment by co-workers or managers. However, there are added levels of difficulty when employees complain of harassment by a customer, contractor or other visitor to the business. In Sansone v. Jazz Casino Company, LLC (Sept. 1, 2021), a federal court of appeals recently ruled that an employee of Harrah’s Casino can go to trial on her claims that she was sexually harassed by a customer and that Harrah’s did not take sufficient steps to address her concerns.
Continue Reading ‘But they don’t work for us!’ Best practices for handling employee claims of harassment by a customer
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently provided employers a useful reminder of how important it is to promptly investigate allegations of harassment, or other types of discrimination, even when it appears that such investigation may be fruitless.
In Jane Doe v City of Detroit, the court upheld summary judgment for Detroit on a transgender employee’s complaint of harassment. Specifically, the employee complained that an unknown person had defaced her nameplate by scratching the word “Mr.” on it, and she had received anonymous notes citing Bible verses, commenting on her transgender identity and stating that people like her should be put to death.
Continue Reading Prompt investigation can be critical to avoiding liability for harassment
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released its fiscal year 2020 statistics of charges filed and resolved on behalf of charging parties. There were 67,448 charges filed in fiscal year 2020, a reduction from the previous year and the lowest number of charges filed since at least 1992. While part of this drop may be explained by the COVID-19 pandemic, there has also been a decrease in charges filed each year since 2016.
Continue Reading EEOC releases fiscal year 2020 charge and litigation data: Retaliation claims continue to dominate
As millions of Americans are settling into a “new normal” and working from home, employers should revisit their company policy regarding workplace harassment. Because the workplace doesn’t look quite like it used to, employees must use creative channels of communication while working remotely. Conversations that may have taken place around a water cooler may now be reduced to writing, whether via text message, email or even messages exchanged within a video conferencing platform.
Continue Reading When your #hashtag is not #humorous: Preventing harassment in a remote working environment