Tag Archives: hostile environment

Beginning a Racist Request with “please” does not make it any less Racist or Discriminatory Even if Asked for the Benefit of an Employer’s Customer

Is An Employer Liable for Harassment by non-employees? This question was inspired by a recent discrimination lawsuit (PDF) filed by a Michigan nurse against her employer, Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan. The lawsuit claims the employer agreed to a man’s request that no African-Americans care for his newborn baby. While most parents of newborns would be more … 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

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