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