Employer Law Report

Tag Archives: harassment

When can an employer be found liable for ‘supervisor’ harassment?

In an opinion issued this week, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee) affirmed dismissal of a case alleging same-sex sexual harassment primarily based on the prompt and effective action taken by the employer in response to the plaintiff employee’s complaint.

Plaintiff (Hylko) and the alleged harasser (Hemphill) worked closely together at U.S. Steel. Hemphill trained Hylko and assigned his duties. Both reported to an area manager.

Hylko claimed that Hemphill harassed him as soon as they started working together, that Hemphill regularly asked Hylko about his sex life and that Hemphill grabbed …

EEOC issues proposed guidance on harassment

Following the report of a 16-member task force led by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Commissioners Chai Feldblum (D) and Victoria Lipnic (R) in 2016, last week the EEOC issued proposed guidance for public comment on or before Feb. 9.

In fiscal 2015, the EEOC received 27, 893 private-sector charges alleging harassment, representing more than 31 percent of all charges filed with the EEOC. As Commissioner Lipnic commented, harassment charges “remain a far too dominant part” of the agency’s workload.

The guidance is intended to assist not only EEOC employees, but employers and employees generally to understand the extent of …

Title VII’s Anti-Retaliation Provisions Apply to Statements Made During Internal Investigations

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court released an opinion in Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee. In this case, the employer, a school district in Tennessee, conducted an internal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment against its employee relations director, Mr. Hughes. Employee interviews were conducted in connection with the investigation. When the plaintiff, Ms. Crawford, was interviewed, she informed the school district that Mr. Hughes had sexually harassed her. Following the investigation, the school district took no action against Mr. Hughes but fired Ms. Crawford, alleging embezzlement.

Ms. Crawford filed suit against the school district, claiming that …

Equal Opportunity Spanking Nets New Trial

This case exemplifies our reason for creating the Employment Outtakes category. 

A California (where else?)appellate court (see Orlando v. Alarm Onehas overturned a jury award of $500,000 in compensatory and $1 million in punitive damages to a 52 year old female on sexual battery and sex harassment claims that  arose out of spankings that she received during the course of "motivational meetings" to encourage the sale of security systems. Apparently, the spankings, among other rather unique motivational techniques, were administered to both male and female employees who performed poorly (for instance, by arriving at work late or not selling

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