Employer Law Report

Tag Archives: sexual harassment

New York’s new discrimination law—Aberration or the start of a trend?

Employers with facilities in New York are probably aware of the significant piece of anti-discrimination legislation Gov. Cuomo signed recently. The new law:

  • expands coverage to all employers regardless of size;woman in conference room
  • expands protections against discrimination to certain non-employees;
  • increases the statute of limitations for sexual harassment claims from one to three years;
  • adds punitive damages and mandatory attorneys’ fees as potential remedies;
  • prohibits mandatory arbitration of discrimination claims;
  • adds to the notice requirements an employer must provide regarding its sexual harassment policy, including in the language identified by any employee as their primary language; and
  • places significant specific restrictions upon

It Is All About How You Handle an Equal Opportunity Harasser: Sixth Circuit Finds Employer Correctly Killed Two Birds with One Stone

Cases involving an equal opportunity harasser are usually entertaining, but Colston v. Cleveland Public Library, (6th Cir. Apr. 15, 2013) is also educational because it demonstrates how an employer can properly get rid of an equal opportunity harasser and defeat discrimination and harassment claims based on the harasser’s conduct at the same time.

Plaintiff Mary Jane Colston was, and still is, a union security officer with the Cleveland Public Library ("CPL"). Ms. Colston alleged that the CPL, along with several of its employees, sexually harassed her, retaliated and discriminated against her because of her gender, and was liable to …

Lawsuit Against Favre Not a “Text”book Case of Sexual Harassment

According to a complaint filed this week in New York, two licensed massage therapists, Christina Scavo and Shannon O’Toole, claim that the New York Jets never called them back to provide therapy for the Jets after Scavo’s husband called Favre to complain during training camp in 2008 that he had propositioned her by text message. O’Toole claims that she was blacklisted by the Jets because she introduced Scavo to the Jets. Neither plaintiff apparently complained to the Jets following the alleged proposition or at anytime while Favre was still playing for the Jets and there is no indication that Favre continued …

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

Secretary May Pursue Sexual Harassment Suit for Hostile Work Environment Based on Boss’s Video Habit

The importance of leaving your personal life at home–particularly if it involves a penchant for pornography–is amply highlighted by the Second Circuit’s decision in Patane v. Clark, No. 06-3446 (2nd Cir. Nov. 28, 2007).  In Patane, the court upheld a female college secretary’s right to pursue a hostile work environment claim under Title VII and state discrimination laws based on her male supervisor’s pornographic video and website viewing habits.  Apparently oblivious to the development of sexual harassment law over the last 40 years or so, the supervisor–who happened to be the chair of the college’s Classics Department–allegedly viewed …