Tag Archives: sex discrimination

Sexual Orientation Discrimination is Unlawful under Federal Law … For Now?

On July 16, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a decision confirming that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation violates title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) Title VII is the primary federal statute that prohibits a range of discrimination against employees. This decision marks the first time the … Continue Reading

“Women Are Teachable” Gender Stereotypes, Then & Now.

Labor Day is generally considered a time to recognize the social and economic achievements of U.S. workers. And a significant amount of this achievement is due to opportunities presented by removing overt discriminatory barriers to employment.   But it is also important to realize that many employment-related statutes were passed – in part – to combat … Continue Reading

Marissa Mayer’s Pregnancy: An Interesting Window into Women, Pregnancy, and the Workplace

Marissa Mayer was recently named the new CEO of Yahoo. She is a former vice-president of Google who has amassed plenty of professional accolades and otherwise seems to be really smart (I love this interview she gave to Fast Co., especially point No. 7).  But I found it more interesting that news outlets mostly bypassed leading with her … Continue Reading

Customer Created Hostile Work Environments as told through a Homer (Simpson) Like Epic of Naked Golf, Butt Skills & Club House Beatings

Recently a drunken day of debauchery at an Atlanta golf club resulted in a letter to the club president (PDF) recounting a lowbrow version of Caddyshack-like antics (apologies to Caddyshack aficionados). But these antics are also a stark reminder about concerns every employer should have when it comes to preventing hostile work environment claims arising out of … Continue Reading

Crude, Bullying, and Despicable Workplace Conduct Does not Create Hostile Work Environment based on Sexual Harassment

Any employee who has spent a fair amount of time in the workplace knows you will find people that are – politely speaking – simply jerks. That reality, however, becomes a nightmare if that jerk is your manager.   But fortunately for companies, an employee’s nightmare does not always create a cause of action for a … Continue Reading

An Employer’s Playbook for Responding to an Allegation of Sexual Harassment

A meaningful analogy can be made between the this year’s eventual Super Bowl winner and a company successfully responding to an allegation of sexual harassment. Consider for example that according to research (WSJ subscription required) the most defining and critical plays of a professional football game come down to success on first down. More specifically, the … Continue Reading

Presidential Politics and Sex – A Reminder for Employers on Preventing Sexual Harassment

What’s a Presidential campaign without sex? Or at least allegations of sexual harassment? In this regard, Politico reported that Herman Cain, a Republican presidential hopeful, engaged in conduct that resulted in at least two out-of-court settlements with women who complained they were subjected to inappropriate conduct by Mr. Cain. These settlements occurred while Mr. Cain … Continue Reading

The Dangers of Looking the Other Way: Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Sexual Harassment

While the criminal charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn have now been dismissed, his conduct and his employer’s response provides a textbook full of examples of how not to respond to sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual Harassment Overview Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, there are two basic forms of actionable sexual harassment:  Quid pro quo … Continue Reading

The Too Ugly to Sexually Harass Defense?

Under existing law, employers may avoid liability for hostile environment sexual harassment by supervisors under certain circumstances. But a “trailblazing” company may be challenging the status quo with a “too ugly to sexually harass” defense. Current Hostile Sexual Harassment Defense Law To avoid liability for sexual harassment for hostile environment harassment by supervisors under Title … Continue Reading
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