Back in September we described a case of same sex harassment and retaliation at a small mom & pop type business. It may be no surprise that a company with only a few employees and no compliance department would fail to prevent violations. But as a recent lawsuit by the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission
Cliché or not, we are living in unprecedented times. At least unprecedented in the lives of most readers; centenarians are a possible exception.
Here in the United States, the Coronavirus and the related shutdown of the economy have caused the most severe recession since the Great Depression in the 1930s. In terms of unemployment, at…
The 30th anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA,” for short) was July 26, 2020. To commemorate this milestone, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) published a separate webpage with links to useful resources for workers and employees (as well as proactive, responsible employers). One particularly useful page lists what the EEOC considers important…
To state the obvious: yes, sexual harassment is not limited to men harassing women and yes, same sex harassment exists. Perhaps it is rarer, but it does happen. What almost certainly happens less often in 2020 than in prior decades—given the prevalence of corporate anti-discrimination policies, trainings, HR personnel and an increased cultural awareness—is brazen, unapologetic harassment, compounded by retaliatory termination. But that is what the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleges occurred in a lawsuit it filed on behalf of a terminated employee in central Florida in July.
And, since harassment is usually more subtle and less egregious than that alleged in this EEOC lawsuit, the lawsuit might be a good case study, a blueprint, a same sex sexual harassment archetype of the type of conduct employers must vigorously seek to prevent and avoid.
The complaint can be found here.
The EEOC alleges that Defendant Shelley’s Septic Tank (“Shelley’s”) and its owner, Mr. David Shelley, employed Richard Colon as a truck driver from February 2017 until May 2018. According to the EEOC, Shelley subjected Mr. Colon to a sexually hostile work environment, both through comments and physical contact.
The “unwelcome, sexually charged comments”, included Mr. Shelley:
- calling Mr. Colon “buttercup” near daily;
- calling Mr. Colon “pretty” after he shaved or trimmed his beard; and
- “plac[ing] his hands in a diamond around his penis and [telling] Mr. Colon to ‘back up to this’.”
The EEOC also alleged Mr. Shelley engaged in “unwelcome, sexual conduct and physical contact” against Mr. Colon, including:
- “stroking Mr. Colon’s arms and leg”;
- “blowing kisses at Mr. Colon”;
- “on one occasion, [using] a stick to poke Mr. Colon between his butt cheeks;” and
- On one day “grabb[ing] Mr. Colon’s buttocks over his clothes and [running] his finger between Mr. Colon’s butt cheeks.”
Can a School District’s Policy to Allow Transgender Students to Access Bathrooms Consistent With Their Gender Identity Be a Basis for a Sexual Harassment Claim?
The Transgender Student
Paul is a 17-year-old junior high school student in Louisville, Kentucky whose sex was female at birth, but who, since at least the age of five, has…
Federal law not only protects you from workplace discrimination during pregnancy, but also from discrimination after pregnancy. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”) of 1978 amended the Civil Rights Act to include discrimination “on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k). Some federal courts have held that breastfeeding or pumping…
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in O’Daniel v. Industrial Service Solutions, released on April 19, 2019, affirmed a lower federal court’s dismissal of a lawsuit that claimed harassment and discrimination based on her heterosexual orientation. The Fifth Circuit held that there were no protections for sexual orientation employment discrimination under the law.
The #MeToo movement has brought many things to light over the last year along with a lot of questions about what is considered sexual harassment and what to do about it. If you are interested in learning more about these issues, Lapin & Leichtling, LLP will be hosting a Lunch & Learn on March 19,…
An Interview With Dr. Cristal Glangchai
Women hold almost 52% of all professional jobs, but in business women are only 25% of executive- and senior-level officials and managers and are only 6% of CEOs. Other professions are no better – in law, women are only 22% of partners and in academia, only 31% of full…
Q&A with Mediator Robert Dulberg
Whether you have filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a complaint with the Florida Commission on Human Relations, in the middle of litigation, or set for trial, you may be invited to mediate your case. Once litigation has started, a judge might even order the parties…