Category Archives: Sexual Harassment

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Judges and Legislators in Chicago and California Seek to Expand Protections for Hotel Workers

In the wake of a deluge of sexual harassment accusations being leveled against high profile figures, and the ensuing #MeToo social media movement, some legislators and judges have been eager to expand protections for certain individuals they see as particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment and assault, including hotel workers.… Continue Reading

California Employers: Get Ready for New FEHC Regulations Effective April 1st

As most California employers know, the complex web of laws that govern employment in the state is vast and ever-expanding.  It just got more complicated.  The Fair Employment and Housing Council (“FEHC”) has issued new anti-discrimination and anti-harassment regulations that most California employers must comply with.  The new regulations will go into effect April 1, … Continue Reading

New Year, New Rules for Employers Doing Business in New York

This past year the New York legislature and New York Department of Labor amended several employment laws implementing changes that are set to take effect at the end of 2015 or in early 2016. This update summarizes the new and updated legal requirements imposed by those amendments to help New York employers prepare and comply … Continue Reading

Supreme Court of New Jersey Adopts Faragher/Ellerth Affirmative Defense

On February 11, 2015, the Supreme Court of New Jersey expressly adopted the test created by the United States Supreme Court in Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775, 807 (1998) and Burlington Indus., Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742, 765 (1998). The Faragher/Ellerth defense provides an employer with an affirmative defense to … Continue Reading

California Makes Anti-Bullying Training A Component Of Mandatory Harassment Training

California employers with more than 50 employees must include “abusive conduct” prevention training in their mandatory harassment prevention training.  Assembly Bill No. 2053 expanded the scope of training required by Government Code Section 12950.1, which requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide at least two hours of harassment prevention training to supervisory employees … Continue Reading

Reminder: New York Interns Are Now Protected Under Both the State and City Human Rights Laws

Following New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio’s endorsement of an amendment to the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) extending the statute’s anti-discrimination and harassment protections to interns earlier this year (as reported here), New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently signed into law similar legislation modifying the New York State Human Rights Law … Continue Reading

Proposed New York Law Would Extend State Anti-Discrimination Protections to Unpaid Interns

A new bill introduced in the New York State Senate would extend many of the protections of the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) to unpaid interns.  Among other things, the bill would make it illegal for employers to “refuse to hire, employ or to discriminate against an intern” based on any of the … Continue Reading

New York Appeals Court Applies Liberal Standard in Reinstating a Sex Bias Claim Under the City Human Rights Law

In a recent decision from the Appellate Division, First Department, a unanimous panel reinstated claims asserted by three plaintiffs under the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”). The plaintiffs in Hernandez, et al. v. Kaisman, 957 N.Y.S.2d 53 (N.Y. App. Div. 2012) claimed they were subjected to a hostile work environment in violation of … Continue Reading

Title VII’s Anti-Retaliation Provisions Protect Employee’s Answers To Sexual Harassment Investigator’s Questions

In Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville et al., the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled that an employee is protected by the anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1963 even when the employee has not filed a formal charge or complaint against the employer. This case serves as a … Continue Reading

Court Upholds Unequal Wage Suit Based Upon Unfair And Unequal Shift Assignments Brought By Female Server At Manhattan Restaurant

On July 21, 2008, Justice Carol Robinson Edmead of the New York County Supreme Court denied a motion to dismiss a claim for unequal compensation brought against the owners, operators and several individual employees of Cipriani restaurant in Manhattan by a female server.  Torres v. Vittoria Corp., 114667-07 (N.Y. Sup., July 21, 2008).  The Torres … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Court Of Appeals Rules That An Employer Must Notify Its Insurer Of A Potential Claim Upon Receiving A Demand Letter From Counsel

The Second Circuit’s ruling in Westrec Marina Management v. Arrowood Indemnity Co. is a warning to employers to report potential claims to their insurance carrier as soon as possible or face denial of coverage.  In Westrec, an employee filed a charge of discrimination against Westrec with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rules That Prompt Preventative And Corrective Action By An Employer In Response To A Sexual Harassment Claim May Not Be Enough To Avoid A Trial

On August 9, 2007, the Ninth Circuit held in Craig v. M & O Agencies that an employee’s 19-day delay in reporting blatant sexually offensive and unacceptable behavior by a direct supervisor did not necessarily constitute an unreasonable failure to take advantage of the preventative or corrective opportunities provided by the employer. Thus, the employer could … Continue Reading

California’s Office of Administrative Law Approves Final Harassment Training Regulations.

On July 18, 2007, California’s Office of Administrative Law approved, with minor modification, the Fair Employment and Housing Commission’s sexual harassment training and education regulations.  The newly approved regulations will become effective August 17, 2007.  The regulations clarify employers’ obligations to provide supervisors with sexual harassment training under the Fair Employment & Housing Act ("FEHA").… Continue Reading

Non-Fraternization Rule Held to Violate NLRA

Workplace romances not only provide an endless stream of water-cooler gossip, they also raise numerous legal concerns, such as those dealing with privacy, sexual harassment, and unlawful termination.  More and more employers seek to limit their exposure to the legal liability and morale problems that result from disintegrated interpersonal relationships in the workplace by adopting … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Rules That Individuals May Not Be Held Personally Liable Under The ADA

Recently in Walsh v. Nevada Department of Human Resources, Division of Healthcare, Finance and Policy, et al. (No. 04-17440) the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that individuals cannot be personally liable for damages in discrimination suits brought pursuant to Title I of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12117.  Prior to the … Continue Reading

FINAL PROPOSED REGULATIONS CLARIFY CALIFORNIA’S MANDATORY SEXUAL HARASSMENT TRAINING REQUIREMENTS

On November 14, 2006, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Commission ("FEHC") adopted its October 2, 2006, modified harassment training regulations as its final proposed regulations.  The regulations interpret the sexual harassment training requirements set forth in California Government Code Section 12950.1.… Continue Reading

The California Supreme Court Affirms That the Laws Prohibiting Workplace Harassment Do Not Impose a “Civility Code”

On April 20, 2006, the California Supreme Court issued an eagerly awaited decision in the case of Amani Lyle v. Warner Brothers Television Productions, the company which wrote and produced the popular television show Friends. The plaintiff, an African-American woman, was hired by Warner Brothers to attend and transcribe show writers’ meetings. She was terminated … Continue Reading

Proposed Regulations Clarify FEHA’S Mandatory Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

On December 16, 2005, California’s Fair Housing and Employment Commission (“the Commission”) issued proposed regulations which clarify employers’ obligations to provide supervisors with sexual harassment training under the Fair Employment & Housing Act (“FEHA”). Pursuant to the FEHA, employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide two hours of sexual harassment training and … Continue Reading

California Supreme Court Concludes Widespread Sexual Favoritism May Create a Hostile Work Environment

The California Supreme Court unanimously held that sufficiently widespread sexual favoritism can convey a demeaning message to female employees that they are viewed by management as “sexual playthings,” creating an actionable hostile work environment under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”). Miller v. Department of Corrections, No. S114097 (July 18, 2005). The decision reversed … Continue Reading
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