Posted On: September 30, 2009

Sears Settles EEOC Lawsuit Over ADA for $6.2 Million

Sears, Roebuck and Co, commonly referred to as Sears settled a lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") based on the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA") for $6.2 million and significant remedial relief. According to the lawsuit Sears maintained an inflexible workers' compensation leave exhaustion policy and terminated employees instead of providing them with reasonable accommodations for their disabilities, in violation of the ADA.

Discovery showed that hundreds of employees who had taken workers' compensation leave were terminated by Sears without seriously considering reasonable accommodations to return them to work while they were on leave, or seriously considering whether a brief extension of their leave would make their return possible. All of this was in violation of the ADA.

"The era of employers being able to inflexibly and universally apply a leave limits policy without seriously considering the reasonable accommodation requirements of the ADA are over," EEOC attorney Hendrickson said.

Continue reading " Sears Settles EEOC Lawsuit Over ADA for $6.2 Million " »

Posted On: September 29, 2009

EEOC Files Lawsuit Against Hilton Hotels Chicago For Hostile Work Environment

Hilton Hotels in Chicago was sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") alleging the hotel violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by subjecting its Hispanic employees to a hostile work environment. The hostile work environment came in the form of subjecting the Hispanic workers to frequent ethnic slurs from the hotel’s executive chef. The slurs included referring to Hispanic employees under the chef's supervision as wetbacks, stupid Mexicans and f**cking Mexicans.

In cases like this the EEOC will first try to negotiate a settlement between the parties and if unsuccessful will then file a lawsuit if the facts support it. In a down economy like we presently have, many employees will look the other way or put up with this type of discriminatory conduct because they are afraid of losing their job. It takes guts to come forward and file a complaint to protect your rights. Another option for the two workers would have been to file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR"). The IDHR would automatically cross file the complaint with the EEOC. I prefer the IDHR venue because they seem better staffed to investigate claims and I prefer to stay in the state system.

“Employees should never have to put up with such humiliation and ridicule on the job,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru.

Continue reading " EEOC Files Lawsuit Against Hilton Hotels Chicago For Hostile Work Environment " »

Posted On: September 28, 2009

Adams Brothers Farm Sued By EEOC For Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Adams Brothers Farming Inc. is being sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of Yareli Uriostegui claiming sexual harassment and retaliation. According to the lawsuit Uriostegui was subjected to repeated sexual harassment and she complained about it to management which did nothing to stop the sexual harassment. Shortly after complaining about the sexual harassment Uriostegui was fired by Adams Brothers Farming Inc. which the EEOC claims is retaliation for reporting the sexual harassment.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court and claims a foreman touched Uriostegui sexually many times and also verbally harassed her in a sexual nature. When Uriostegui complained, she was written up for poor performance and fired two weeks later. The EEOC is seeking compensatory damages, back pay, punitive damages and other injunctive relief.

Continue reading " Adams Brothers Farm Sued By EEOC For Sexual Harassment and Retaliation " »

Posted On: September 27, 2009

Starbucks Sued For Sexual Harassment

A 29-year-old former starbucks employee filed a sexual harassment lawsuit alleging that young male co-workers consistently sexually harassed her by putting bananas between their legs as well as placing them in napkin dispensers. The woman alleges in her lawsuit that the males also wrote in the bathrooms using bananas as phallic symbols with one directed at her and inscribed with a particularly offensive remark.

The behavior began in 2008 when the store began selling fruit smoothies. The woman was also the victim of a sexual assault that same year. According to the lawsuit the sexual harassment was reported on many occasions but management failed to take any action or to stop the sexual harassment from continuing. The woman quit in November 2008 because she could no longer tolerate the hostile work environment. In a statement Starbucks claims it has a policy that strictly prohibits discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace.


Continue reading " Starbucks Sued For Sexual Harassment " »

Posted On: September 25, 2009

Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Settles For $120,000 Between UPS and EEOC

UPS settles a lawsuit involving Joanne Nijem who was represented by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") for $120,000. Nijem also alleged that UPS engaged in retaliation once she reported the sexual harassment. Nijem was the only female employee at the facility and alleged she was subjected almost daily to insults and criticisms in front of coworkers and customers, and when she reported the sexual harassment to the company hotline and the regional director, she was terminated a week later--which in Illinois is retaliation.

As in most cases like this UPS denied it did anyting wrong. As part of the settlement UPS will provide training to management and human resources officials who fired Nijem and agreed to maintain an anti-harassment policy and post it so employees can see it. When you look at the amount of money UPS had to pay on a case like this it makes you wonder what supervisors are thinking when they engage in such behavior.

Continue reading " Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Settles For $120,000 Between UPS and EEOC " »

Posted On: September 24, 2009

Firefighter Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $850,000

Sharon Januszewski a female firefighter in Oaklawn since 2000 had alleged sexual harassment in the firehouse and was forced to file a lawsuit after nothing was done to settle her claim. Januszewski and the village settled the claim for $850,000 plus she retains her position as a firefighter. In a time when budgets are being stretched and positions eliminated due to the bad economy you can see how important it is to have a harassment free work zone.

In the lawsuit Januszewski alleged sexual harassment by her male colleagues in the fire department, specifically that a firefighter ejaculated on her bedding at a firehouse and that pornography was found in the open and on display throughout a fire station. Januszewsky alleged village officials didn't do enough to investigate the incidents of sexual harassment once she reported it. Taking prompt action from the very start may have saved the village a great deal of money. Aside from the $850,000 paid to Januszewksi, I am sure a large amount of money was given to attorneys working for the village to defend the claim.

Continue reading " Firefighter Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $850,000 " »

Posted On: September 23, 2009

EEOC Files Sexual Harassment and National Origin Lawsuit Against Knouse Foods Cooperative

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") filed a lawsuit against Knouse Foods Cooperative, Inc. alleging that female farmworkers were subjected to a sexually hostile work environment by male coworkers at its processing plant. According to the lawsuit the men engaged in sexual harassment by asking female employees to show their breasts, asking the females out on dates for sex and making other sexual advances to female employees. This type of behavior in the work place seems to be getting more common place and employees have to stand up and hire an attorney to protect their rights.

The lawsuit also alleges the women were subjected to discrimination because of their Mexican national origin. The Mexican women had things thrown at them and they were called derogatory terms such as “dumb Mexican” or “stupid Mexican.” The women complained about the sexual harassment and national origin discrimination to supervisors and managers, but Knouse Foods failed to take prompt and effective action to stop the harassment. The harassment and discrimination only go worse after the women complained.

“This is another tragic example of an employer failing to stop cruel, humiliating, and illegal victimization of vulnerable employees,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru.

Continue reading " EEOC Files Sexual Harassment and National Origin Lawsuit Against Knouse Foods Cooperative " »

Posted On: September 22, 2009

Sexual Harassment Case Expensive For Companies

Now that the economy is doing poorly many employees who are being terminated or demoted are filing sexual harassment claims. One reason for the claims is that employee were putting up with poor behavior in order to keep their jobs. Since they no longer have their job, the see no reason to keep this behavior to themselves. Aside from the cost of settling the sexual harassment cases, companies also have to spend money defending them. The example below shows how much the town of Seaside spend defending a sexual harassment claim.

Thirty year old police reserve officer Vanessa Alcaraz filed a sexual harassment claim with the city against then-Sgt. Barry Pasquarosa. This is a pretty routine case and there does not seem to be anything unique about the facts. To date the city has spent $77,000 on investigation costs and $190,000 on attorney fees. The case isn't even to trial yet and look at the amounts of money that are being spent. According to the Monterey County Herald, City Manager Ray Corpuz said

"We have a duty to investigate, we have a duty to defend (ourselves), and there are our own personnel and human resource policies. Particularly in this case, we have to follow ... state law," he said. "The city has no choice but to respond to these claims."

Continue reading " Sexual Harassment Case Expensive For Companies " »

Posted On: September 21, 2009

EEOC Report Shows Increase in Discrimination Lawsuits

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") released its' report for 2008 and it shwos there were 16,752 complaints alleging employment discrimination– up 2.4 percent from the prior year. These complaints are allegations against government agencies only and do not include complaints against private companies. The complaints were filed against federal agencies on the basis of retaliation, gender, race, national origin, religion and age.

Other interesting statistics in the report include of 7,538 cases closed on the merits, 2.5% resulted in findings of unlawful discrimination. Both parties entered into settlements in 19.5 % or 3,249 complaints. Agencies awarded a total of over $50 million in monetary benefits to complainants for unlawful discrimination.

“Federal agencies must step up their efforts to improve complaint processing time, while also focusing on quality results,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “

Continue reading " EEOC Report Shows Increase in Discrimination Lawsuits " »

Posted On: September 19, 2009

NPMG Pays $415,000 To Settle Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

NPMG Acquisition Sub, LLC, ("NPMG") agreed to pay $415,000 and in addition to other relief as part of a racial discrimination lawsuit settlement. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of a group of three African American workers who were subjected to to racial slurs and epithets.

According to the lawsuit two white supervisors engaged in severe verbal abuse which created and perpetuated a racially hostile work environment against black employees. In addition to the $415,000, the company must provide a written apology to the three African American workers on company letterhead, post notices and conduct anti-discrimination training.

“It was unbelievable, the things they said,” said Michael Buckner, one of the discrimination victims. "My supervisors often referred to my fellow African-American employees and me as ‘n-----rs’ and ‘porch monkeys’ and forced us to play so-called ‘Civil War games’ where employees were divided into North and South. They also referred to black children or mixed-race children as ‘porch monkeys’ or ‘Oreo babies.’ On several occasions, I was told to turn off my ‘jigaboo music.’”

Continue reading " NPMG Pays $415,000 To Settle Racial Discrimination Lawsuit " »

Posted On: September 18, 2009

New Illinois Law Takes Affect January 1, 2010 Adding Additional Discrimination Protections

The Illinois Human Rights Act ("IHRA") also known as, 775 ILCS 5/1-101 will now offer protection to individuals who have an order of protection. Starting at the first of the year it will be considered unlawful discrimination, based on order of protection status, to take any negative job action on an individual if they have an order of protection and there is no legitimate business reason for the negative job action.

This new law adds order of protection status to the current protected classifications of religion, age, race, national origin, gender, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, military status, and unfavorable discharge from military service. The initial charge would be filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights in either Chicago or Springfield.

Continue reading " New Illinois Law Takes Affect January 1, 2010 Adding Additional Discrimination Protections " »

Posted On: September 17, 2009

Dave's Supermarket Sued For Sexual Harassment

Dave's supermarket has been hit with a federal lawsuit regarding sexual harassment. In Cleveland the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") filed a lawsuit claiming the supermarket violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by subjecting female employees to sexual harassment. According to the lawsuit a department manager subjected women to egregious sexual harassment including asking the woman for sex and groping.

According to court papers once the top tier of management became aware of the sexual harassment and the manager's behavior the top group of management at the supermarket did nothing to stop it and allowed it to continue. Damages from sexual harassment include lost pay, future pay, emotional distress damage, attorney fees, and punitive damages. There seems to be an increase in sexual harassment cases this year probablly due to the problems with the economy.

"We continue to see an increase in the number of harassment complaints, however, this was one of many instances when the employer could have taken steps to prevent it from ever happening," said EEOC Acting Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence.

Continue reading " Dave's Supermarket Sued For Sexual Harassment " »

Posted On: September 16, 2009

Dollar General Sued For Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

Dolgencorp LLC, which does business as Dollar General is being sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") for sexual harassment and retaliation. The lawsuit states that from at February 2005 through May 2006, Amanda Tittle Strickland, Maria Kinley Strickland, Tina Baxley and other similarly situated female employees were subjected to sexual harassment by Dollar General. The women were sexually harassed by a male store manager with crude and offensive sexual comments, unwelcome touching of the women's buttocks and breasts and request for sex.

All of the women complained about the sexual harassment. The company failed to take appropriate action to stop the sexual harassment and retaliated against the women. Strickland had to quit her job to escape the harassment. The EEOC is asking for an injunction to stop Dollar General from engaging in discriminatory employment practices. The women are seeking monetary damages.

Lynette A. Barnes, regional attorney for the EEOC's Charlotte District Office, said, "In this case, Dollar General had a policy prohibiting sexual harassment. However, the evidence obtained by the EEOC indicates that despite the policy, a member of Dollar General's management created the sexually hostile work environment for the female employees and other managers knew about it but took no action to stop it.

Continue reading " Dollar General Sued For Sexual Harassment and Retaliation " »

Posted On: September 15, 2009

Appeals Court Upholds $241,708 National Origin Verdict

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a jury verdict int he amount of $241,708 for plaintiff Youssef Bouamama against Go Daddy Software Inc. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of Bouamama, a Muslim of Moroccan national origin who speaks Arabic and claimed Go Daddy Software Inc. had engaged in retaliation against Bouamama when it fired him for complaining about religious and national origin discrimination.

In the underlining lawsuit, the jury found in favor of Bouamama and said that Go Daddy Software Inc. terminated Bouamama, for complaining about religious discrimination and national origin discrimination. After 9-11, there has been a rise in the number of complaints and lawsuit filed based on national origin. Muslims seem to be the latest group to be subjected to this type of discriminatory conduct.

“We are pleased that the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the jury’s finding of retaliation,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Mary Jo O’Neill of the EEOC's Phoenix District Office.

Continue reading " Appeals Court Upholds $241,708 National Origin Verdict " »

Posted On: September 14, 2009

Department of Interior Ordered To Pay $149,459 In Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") Office of Federal Operations awarded Department of Interior employee Celeste Gray $149,459 to settle her sexual harassment lawsuit. According to the lawsuit over a period of two years Gray's supervisor would call her into his office to pick up trash off the floor in front of his desk so he could view her tell her that there was nothing he did not know about a woman's body and call her breasts the girls.

As a result of the sexual harassment Gray's weight increased dramatically to make herself less attractive to the supervisor. Gray also suffered from anxiety, nightmares, sleep disorder and was under the care of a psychologist. Gray received $100,000 emotional distress, $43,359 for past and future medical expenses and a $6,100 tax enhancement to offset the future medical expenses.

As an example of the kind of sexual harassment Gray endured, when she was going out of town, her supervisor in a sexual gesture said, "I hope you don't give up nothing,"

Continue reading " Department of Interior Ordered To Pay $149,459 In Sexual Harassment Lawsuit " »

Posted On: September 13, 2009

Jewel Stores Sued By EEOC For ADA Violations

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") filed a lawsuit against Jewel/Osco for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). According to the lawsuit, Jewel-Osco refused to allow qualified employees with disabilities who are on authorized disability leave, or who are eligible for it, to return to work if they have any work restrictions.

They are also terminating employees if they reach the one-year mark on leave and that Jewel refused to allow qualified employees with disabilities assignment to temporary light duty jobs unless they were injured on the job. The case stemmed from an employee who suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and severe allergic reactions to cosmetic fragrances

The EEOC also cites Jewel because it failed to stop the harassment of an employee disabled by a seizure disorder.

"According to the lawsuit Jewel told the man to go have a seizure and crawl on the floor.’”

Continue reading " Jewel Stores Sued By EEOC For ADA Violations " »

Posted On: September 12, 2009

Allstate Pays $4.5 Million To Settle Age Discrimination Lawsuit

One of the largest insurance companies in the world, Allstate agreed to pay $4,500,000 to settle age discrimination lawsuits with 90 former employees, all of whom are over 40 and provide significant remedial relief. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commision ("EEOC") filed a lawsuit back in 2004 and alleged that Allstate put in place a policy that had a disproportionate impact on Allstate’s employees over the age of 40 because more than 90 percent of the agents subjected to the hiring moratorium undere the program were 40 years of age or older.

Allstate fiercely contested the lawsuit but eventually gave in to the EEOC. As a backdrop for their decision to gave in Allstate relied on a recent Supreme Court case. In 2005, the United States Supreme Court held in Smith v. City of Jackson that a facially neutral policy, such as Allstate’s hiring moratorium, which disproportionately affected those age 40 and over violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") unless the policy was based on a reasonable factor other than age.

As part of the settlement Allstate will pay former employees who sought employment or would have sought employment a total of $4.5 million to be divided among the class via a settlement fund. Additionally Allstate is required to pay for discrimination prevention training, post notices regarding age discrimination and participate in other relief designed to educate Allstate managers in order to prevent future violations of the ADEA.

“Discrimination against older workers is counterproductive and wrong, and the EEOC has been taking a close look at ways to increase our law enforcement efforts in this area,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru.

Continue reading " Allstate Pays $4.5 Million To Settle Age Discrimination Lawsuit " »

Posted On: September 11, 2009

Disabled Women Gets $275,000 in Lawsuit Settlement

The state of Wisconsin will pay $275,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by Wendy Sturz a parole agent who resigned in 2005. Sturz suffers from a degenerative joint disease that makes it hard for her to walk and stand without pain. Sturz worked in as a probation and parole agent since 1993 and had received positive performance reviews. In increasing pain, she requested accommodations in 2003 to reduce the stress on her weakening knees, elbows, shoulders and ankles. Sturz claimed the state violated the Americans With Disabilities Act.

The department rejected her requests to reduce her number of home visits, took more than a year to install an electric door so she could get through on a scooter, and rejected her request to work from home in bad weather. The department also did not make sure the sloped office parking lot was clear of snow, which meant Sturz fell on numerous occasions.

"A reasonable jury could find that plaintiff's conditions were objectively intolerable as a result of defendant's failure to accommodate her," Crabb wrote. "An employee should not have choose between her job and her health."

The state will pay Sturz, of Ellsworth, $171,000 in back pay and damages under the settlement. Her attorneys will receive $104,000.

Continue reading " Disabled Women Gets $275,000 in Lawsuit Settlement " »

Posted On: September 9, 2009

Four Female Doctors Sue Hospital For Sexual Harassment

Four female doctors alleged sexual harassment by Medical Superintendent Dr. Vinod Kumar of Gandhi Nagar Hospital. Some inside the hospital believe the sexual harassment complaint was filed because the hospital and in particular Dr. Kumar have been very strict with the doctors regarding employment issues. To date not many facts have been alleged and both sides seem to be keeping tight lipped.

In Illinois allegations of sexual harassment must be filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The complaint must be filed within 180 days and 300 days respectively. It is very important to speak with an attorney early to make sure you don't miss those important periods.

“We don’t believe that Dr Vinod can do such an act” an old female employee of the Hospital on the condition of anonymity.

Continue reading " Four Female Doctors Sue Hospital For Sexual Harassment " »

Posted On: September 8, 2009

Two Females File Discrimination Lawsuit Against Minnesota State University

A discrimination lawsuit has been filed against Minnesota State University ("MSU") by director of the University's Campus Access Program ("CAP"), Tonya Phillips and the program's retention specialist Dalton Crayton, claiming they've been subjected to racial discrimination and retaliation based on their race.

Under federal law Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, retaliation occurs when an employee is fired or has his/her terms and conditions of work changed as a result of making a formal complaint of discrimination. Title VII also protects those individuals who testify, assist or participate in an investigation of illegal activity or those who oppose unlawful employment practices.

University spokesperson Michael Cooper says MSU couldn't comment on the issue because it's pending litigation.The Minnesota State College and University system says MSU is moving to have the case dismissed; that motion will be heard October 23 in US District Court.

Continue reading " Two Females File Discrimination Lawsuit Against Minnesota State University " »

Posted On: September 7, 2009

Police Dispatcher Sues For Sexual Harassment

Former borough police dispatcher Brittany Kane filed a sexual harassment lawsuit alleging she was terminated after she said patrol officer Travis Allie sexually harassed her. According to the lawsuit Kane was repeatedly sexually harassed by Allie, including obtaining Kane's phone number without her permission, sending her messages claiming they engaged in sexual activity, making inappropriate remarks about her appearance, and at least once touching her inappropriately.

The lawsuit also alleges Allie became increasingly hostile toward her when Kane rejected his advances. Four days after she met with Lt. David Dudeck to change her schedule to avoid Allie, Kane was fired, which is proven would constitute retaliation. Township administrator Robert Bruschi told the Times of Trenton Kane was fired for unsatisfactory job performance.

Continue reading " Police Dispatcher Sues For Sexual Harassment " »

Posted On: September 6, 2009

Restaurant Worker Sues For Sexual Harassment After Hot Dog Used in Lewd Gesture

A Taxi's Restaurant worker, Joanne Cole was was sexually assualted by a male co-worker who used hot dogs in lewd gestures simulating fornication and she was bitten by the co-worker until she bled. The lawsuit by Cole alleges sexual harassment, sexual assault, discrimination and retaliation. The lawsuit alleges that while she worked for Taxi’s Hamburgers in Dublin California, she was subjected to ongoing sexual harassment, sexual assault and discrimination, and upon complaining of the unlawful behavior, nothing was done.

The lawsuit alleges that a Taxi’s supervisor directly observed Joanne Cole being assaulted by another co-worker who was by biting her lips and back while she fought him off telling him to stop. The supervisor did nothing after seeing the assault occur and instead turned his attention back to the television program he was watching.

The allegations state that Ms. Cole was subjected to lewd and lascivious gestures by other male employees including gesturing to their penises to simulate masturbation and holding a hotdog to their lower extremities as if it was a penis and gesturing to female employees. Ms. Cole was also repeatedly bitten on the lips and back by another male co-worker. Taxi’s Hamburgers took no action. Officers from the Dublin police department ultimately arrested the former co-worker.

Continue reading " Restaurant Worker Sues For Sexual Harassment After Hot Dog Used in Lewd Gesture " »

Posted On: September 5, 2009

EEOC Sues Nurse One Team One For Sexual Harassment

Nurse One Team One is the subject of a federal lawsuit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of 25 former nurses who claim a patient sexually harassed them. According to the sexual harassment lawsuit, they claim a client inappropriately touched, groped and made sexual requests of them. The lawsuit alleges that man requested that only female certified nursing assistants provide his care.

The lawsuit alleges that Nurse One Team One ignored at least 25 written complaints of sexual harassment from that male client. EEOC attorneys said the company even retaliated against one of the CNA's by firing her because the woman refused to apologize to that male client for warning a fellow co-worker about her experience with him. The lawsuit asks for unspecified amount including back wages, compensatory and punitive damages and injunctive relief.

"There is no excuse for knowingly and repeatedly subjecting female employees to a sexually hostile and abusive work environment," said Katharine Kores, EEOC Memphis district office director.
Posted On: September 4, 2009

Cheerleader Gets $25,000 in Sexual Harassment Case

Kacie Chambers filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Marshall's Board of Governors and former cheerleading coach Donna Dunn alleging she was repeatedly harassed by several members of the cheerleading squad during her first and other year there in 2005. The harassment included allegations of male members of the squad exposing themselves, rubbing their private parts in the female members' faces and calling the females derogatory names.

Chambers' suit specifically singled out head male cheerleader Richard Edmunds whom she alleged pulled down her sports bra and instructed her "not to be a bitch or she would find her ass hitting the ground." The repeated harassment, which Chambers alleges Dunn ignored, resulted in her quitting the squad before completing her freshman year in 2005-2006, and to lose the scholarship she was awarded.

In both their replies to Chambers' suit, and during the trial, both Dunn and Marshall University officials maintained that they took the proper steps to address her allegations when they were first raised including removing Edmonds from the squad. In the end the jury did not believe them and ruled in favor or Chambers awarding her $25,000.

"I'm really glad my story is out there," Chambers said. "I'm really glad I stood up for what I believed."
Posted On: September 3, 2009

Sexual Harassment Lawsuits On The Rise In Illinois

In Illinois the number of sexual harssment cases seems to be on the rise, at least from my perspective. With the downturn in the economy, many once loyal employees who put up with a lot of harassment now don't feel that same loyalty towards the company and are fighting back.

In Fiscal Year 2008, EEOC received 13,867 charges of sexual harassment. 15.9% of those charges were filed by males. EEOC resolved 11,731 sexual harassment charges in FY 2008 and recovered $47.4 million in monetary benefits for charging parties and other aggrieved individuals (not including monetary benefits obtained through litigation).

There are strict time limits for filing a charge of sexual harassment in Illinois and once that time limit expires, no relief is available. There is a 180 day and 300 day limit for filing a charge of sexual harassment with the Illinois Department of Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission respectively. Many times settlements are possible either prior to filing the charge or once the charge is filed. An experienced lawyer can help you with this process. It is better to get the lawyer involved early in the process to increase the chances of success.

Posted On: September 2, 2009

Mars Super Markets Pays $275,000 To Settle Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

Mars Super Markets, Inc. agreed to pay $275,000 and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a class action gender discrimination lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC").According to the lawsuit, Mars refused to hire part-time deli clerk Gail Brown as an apprentice meat cutter at a Dundalk, Md., Mars store because she is a woman.

Mars, which operates 16 grocery stores in the Baltimore metropolitan area, had an ongoing pattern of failing to hire females as meat cutters and also failed to preserve various personnel and employment records, which also violated federal law. Refusing to hire qualified applicants because of their gender violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and is gender discrimination.

"Eliminating an entire gender – half the population – from consideration for a particular type of job makes no sense and clearly violates decades-old federal law,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru.

In Fiscal Year 2008, the EEOC received 28,372 charges of gender discrimination.

Continue reading " Mars Super Markets Pays $275,000 To Settle Gender Discrimination Lawsuit " »

Posted On: September 1, 2009

Taco Bell Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit With EEOC For $350,000

Taco Bell Corporation will pay $350,000 to two young women to resolve a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The lawsuit alleged that Terence E. Davis, a former manager at Taco Bell, sexually assaulted a 16-year-old female employee on her first day of work. The EEOC said Davis sexually assaulted the young woman on the work premises and then tried to follow her as she fled home. The EEOC also uncovered evidence during discovery that Davis had forcibly raped another 16-year-old female employee just five months earlier.

This type of workplace misconduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination, including sexual assaults as the most egregious forms of sexual harassment. The EEOC filed suit against Irvine, Calif.-based Taco Bell Corporation after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement. Davis pled guilty in 2009 to raping both women and is currently serving two concurrent eight-year prison terms.

“Sexual harassment is always unconscionable, but this situation was especially so, given the extreme nature of the assaults and the youth and vulnerability of the victims,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru.

Continue reading " Taco Bell Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit With EEOC For $350,000 " »