Posted On: December 31, 2010

Haven Manor Settles Disability Discrimination Lawsuit For $10,000

Haven Manor settled an Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA") lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") for $10,000 ending the litigation. According to legal documents Haven refused to accept temporary placement of Amanda Huff, a hearing-impaired certified nursing assistant ("CNA") because of her disability. An employer may not discriminate against a person because of a disability.

I am seeing more ADA claims in Chicago and I believe it is due to the bad economy. Every citizen has a right to an equal chance at work as long as they are qualified. Although this case settled for a small amount of money, it sends a message and depending on the circumstances, the money may be adequate to fulfill Ms. Huff's needs.

EEOC attorney Melvin Kennedy said. “Such cases should remind employers that the EEOC can effectively enforce the nation’s anti-discrimination laws with the help of its partnerships with state agencies such as the Nebraska Equal Opportunity Commission, which investigated Ms. Huff’s discrimination charge.”
Posted On: December 30, 2010

Illinois Department Of Corrections Sued For Sexual Harassment

Just when the State of Illinois is facing serious economic troubles and things don't look like they can get much worse--they are. Aaron Anderson who is a former correctional officer at the Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the Illinois Department of Corrections ("IDOC") and two supervisors. In the lawsuit he seeks in excess of $400,000 plus attorney fees. Also named in the lawsuit are Joseph J. McCray and Randy Newstrand.

According to court documents Anderson claims he was the victim of sexual harassment while employed at the prison. His claims include his male supervisors making inappropriate sexual comments to him and inappropriately touching his groin and buttocks. Things only got worse when he complained to management which helped lead to this lawsuit. In fact Anderson claimed the IDOC engaged in retaliation against him for complaining by imposing a 10-day suspension.

"Anderson claims he was physically restrained and assaulted by other guards with a supervisor jokingly asking how he liked being sexually assaulted or raped."

Posted On: December 30, 2010

Glancy Binkow & Goldberg Sued For Sexual Harassment

Law firm Glancy Binkow & Goldberg is being sued by Ashlee IIewicz, a former employee for sexual harassment and wrongful-termination. According to published accounts right after the holiday party, founding partner Lionel Z. Glancy took employees to a bikini bar named Fantasy Island, paid for their admissions and bought a lap dance for at least one employee. The allegations include claims that female employees at the firm were subjected to a hostile work environment because senior attorneys were always discussing sex in the workplace and making sexual comments.

In what seems to be a remarkable claim, apparently one lawyer posted photographs of naked women on the wall of his office. Ilewicz worked as an investigator at the firm for 14 months before she was fired for complaining about the performance of an attorney and complaining about the hostile work environment. Being fired for complaining about this type of behavior would also rise to the level of retaliation.

"Glancy declined to comment"
Posted On: December 29, 2010

Subway Franchise Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $55,000

SKMATCH, Inc a franchise for a Subway restaurant pays $55,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The EEOC also alleged the creation of hostile work environment because of what happened to two female employees. Published accounts allege that the male assistant manager at the Subway store where Helena Miller worked, subjected her to repeated sexual comments, sexual propositions and name calling and sexual touching.

Miller was only 18 years old at the time she was sexually harassed, and the assistant manager who harassed her was 28. Miller complained to other managers about the sexual harassment but no action was taken in response to her complaints. The harassment was so intolerable that Miller was forced to quit her job in order to avoid being harassed. When an employee quits their job because of discrimination or sexual harassment it is referred to as a constructive discharge. This type of behavior by a member of management not only cost the company money but also bad publicity which will probably cost it customers.

“All workers have the right to work in an environment free from sexual harassment,” says EEOC attorney Lynette Barnes, “No one should have to put up with sexual comments or touching in their place of work.”

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Posted On: December 28, 2010

Cobra Pavers Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $125,000

Cobra Pavers pays $125,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). According to details which were published Cobra managers subjected female office employees to a hostile work environment and engaged in sexual harassment by telling stories of sexual exploits, making inappropriate sexual comments, and engaging in unwelcome sexual touching.

Sometimes in traditionally male dominated work places this type of activity seems normal, but in fact it is sexual harassment and will cost the company money every time. It is wise for companies to make sure all of their employees are training in what type of behavior is proper and legal under the law. It has been my experience that the more senior managers are the ones that need the most training of discrimination in the workplace.

“Sexual harassment can never be tolerated in any workplace, and the construction industry is no exception,” said EEOC Attorney Robert Weisberg.
Posted On: December 28, 2010

Crothall Healthcare Pays $88,000 To Settle Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit

Crothall Healthcare, Inc pays $88,422 and reinstates a fired employee to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). According to court documents Crothall Healthcare fired a housekeeping employee after discovering that she was pregnant. This type of behavior is illegal and will usually result in a lawsuit. Employers seem to think that a pregnant employee can't do the same level of work that was performed prior to being pregnant.

In this case, the amount of money is probably double what the housekeeping employee was making per year so you can see how expensive this type of behavior is. Not only will Crothall have to pay over $88,000 but they will have to submit reports to the EEOC for two-years showing they are not engaging in discriminatory behavior. They will also have to provide training for employees and management so this type of activity does not happen in the future. Engaging is this type of treatment of an employee also forms a hostile work environment to all employees.

“Employers cannot refuse to allow women to work based on discriminatory stereotypes about pregnancy. They must treat pregnant women just as they would any other employee,” said Faye Williams, EEOC attorney.
Posted On: December 27, 2010

TSA Employee Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

John Arndt a former Transportation Security Administration ("TSA") worker was fired by the TSA and filed a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against the agency--the lawsuit was dismissed because of procedural errors and is being appealed. The thrust of his allegations are that he was fired because he complained about sexual harassment from a female boss and as a result the agency engaged in retaliation against him. Of course there are two sides to every story and the TSA tells a different story. According to published court documents Arndt was a troublesome employee who was fired because he engaged in “harassing,” “irresponsible” and “confrontational” workplace behavior.

In court papers Arndt claims Buffalo TSA managers drummed him out of the agency because he had an affair with a high-ranking Buffalo TSA official and then broke off the affair. This makes up the majority of his retaliation claim in the lawsuit. Arndt said he broke off the affair because he was about to get married. After he told the women it was over she repeatedly called him, seeking to resume the affair. He refused, and the supervisor was promoted to a position above him. He claims this caused a hostile work environment for him and resulted in his termination.

“I filed a complaint of sexual harassment, and the TSA investigator who interviewed me told me, ‘Men don’t get sexually harassed, be a real man,’ ” Arndt said.
Posted On: December 26, 2010

Doctor Sued For Sexual Harassment

Dr. Edward Kleiner had a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against him by three former employees who accuse him of perverse transgressions. According to published accounts the three women allege he sexted them, groped them, offered weight-loss tips, exposed his penis, and once brought an inflatable sex doll to the office.

The most unusual allegation was that he instructed a married couple to have sex in the office bathroom to produce sperm for an artificial-insemination procedure on the wife. This goes beyond creepy.

"We heard constant banging against the wall," says Samantha Romanger, a 21-year-old administrative assistant.

Then Kleiner allegedly told Romanger and another administrative assistant, Lauren Schlanger, to join him in the exam room and witness the artificial insemination.

"I refused. I said, 'I don't like this, and I don't think its legal,' " Romanger said. "He said, 'One of you are coming in the room, end of story.' I felt violated. I don't want to hear anyone having sex. And we're the ones who have to clean the office."

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Posted On: December 25, 2010

Staffing Firm Settles Constructive Discharge Lawsuit For $20,000

Wisconsin Staffing Services, Inc. pays $20,000 to settle a racial discrimination and constructive discharge lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The lawsuit was the occured because allegedlly the president of the company engaged in repeated, acts of racial harassment toward a Native American employee, Carolyn Red Bear, allegedly including derogatory comments about Red Bear’s “ethnic” appearance, suggestions that she seek alternative employment in personal home care as more consistent with the skills of Native American people, and statements that she did not “fit in” with the white community in Ladysmith, Wis.

The constructive discharge lawsuit originated out of the company forcing Red Bear out of her job when she refused to comply with a directive from the company president to cut her hair, change her last name, and to stop “rubbing in” her heritage. When you are constructively discharge, it means you have to quit your job because things are so bad that no reasonable person would continue to work there. It is the same as being fired by the company.

"No employee can be required to endure harassment or mocking of her ethnic heritage as a price of holding on to her job,” said John Hendrickson, EEOC attorney.
Posted On: December 24, 2010

Kaplan Higher Education Corp. Sued For Discrimination

Kaplan Higher Education Corporation is being sued because it participated in a pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination by refusing to hire a class of black job applicants nationwide. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of the class of workers after a lengthy investigation. It a common practice but is one that usually doesn't result in a lawsuit, Kaplan rejected job applicants based on their credit history. This practice has an unlawful discriminatory impact because of race and is neither job-related nor justified by business necessity.

As a result of this practice the company engaged in racial discrimination. This can also create a hostile work environment because of the impact this has on the workplace in general. In order to deny someone a job because of their credit score, one would have to show that a person with poor credit would have a negative impact on their job performance. For example in the banking industry it would probably be okay to not hire a person working with money all day if they had a poor credit score because of the involvement with money.

“Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was intended to eliminate practices that serve as arbitrary barriers to employment because of a job applicant’s race,” said EEOC Attorney Debra Lawrence.
Posted On: December 23, 2010

CasaBlanca Casino Pays $60,000 To Settle Age Discrimination Lawsuit

CasaBlanca Casino settled an age discrimination lawsuit which was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of two sales manager who were over the age of 40. According to documents this office obtained, the two sales managers working at the CasaBlanca Resort & Casino, ages 67 and 55 were informed that their positions were being eliminated.

The problem with that story was the two older sales managers were subsequently replaced by two younger new hires within approximately two months of eliminating their positions. Because they were replaced within a short period of time they were discriminated against due to their age, a direct violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"). This type of behavior is not only illegal but it creates a hostile work environment for other employees.

“Notwithstanding, employers should be proactive in reviewing their own procedures and training staff accordingly so that older workers are not treated differently simply because of their age.” said EEOC attorney Anna Park
Posted On: December 22, 2010

Omnicare Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $195,000

Omnicare, Inc. pays $195,000 to five female workers to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on their behalf. According to published accounts a pharmacy manager engaged in repeated, egregious acts of sexual harassment toward female employees, such as unwelcome touching that included approaching female employees from behind and grinding his crotch on them, and making sexually explicit and demeaning comments to female employees.

The women came forward to reported the conduct to management but nothing was done to stop the sexual harassment and it only got worse. This type of conduct created a hostile work environment for the five women. You would think in a professional atmosphere like a pharmacy this type of behavior would not take place but it seems all to common in todays work environment. I am glad these females came forward and the EEOC was able to settle the case.

“One would think that if any workplace would be free of egregious sexual harassment, it would be a workplace connected to health care -- like a pharmacy,” said EEOC Attorney John Hendrickson.

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Posted On: December 21, 2010

United Airlines Settles Discrimination Lawsuit For $600,000

United Airlines settled a Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA") lawsuit for $600,000. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of a group of employees who had disabilities. According to published accounts a group of reservation agents with disabilities were subjected to a blanket policy forcing the group to reduced hourly schedules..

Because of the downtown in the economy many companies feel they can treat workers in a discriminatory way and get away with it. In this case the employees fought back and the EEOC stepped in. You can see how much money this cost the company and hopefully they will change their behavior.

One worker who had worked for United for 25 years and had worked a reduced-hour schedule for 23 years prior to the policy change, said, “Contributing 25 years of work, in a way compatible with my health, was positive for me, for United and for society."
Posted On: December 19, 2010

Spud Seller Inc. Sued For Sexual Harassment

A Monte Vista potato company, Sput Seller Inc. is being sued for sexual harassment and creating a hostile work environment for female employees. Five women claim they were the victims of sexual harassment.Spud Seller denied the allegations and is taking the case to trial. The case was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC").

According to published accounts the supervisor, Mauricio Gaytan tried to kiss female employees and also engaged in other activity the elevated the claim to sexual harassment. The lawsuit alleges that five female workers are victims of sexual harassment by the supervisor, at least as far back as 2004. It alleges the supervisor physically assaulted one female and propositioned her for sex in 2007. Also Spud Seller created the hostile work environment by purportedly allowing Gaytan to harass women and by failing to prevent and correct the situation.

Posted On: December 18, 2010

Cheesecake Factory Sued For Sexual Harassment

The Cheesecake Factory is being sued for sexual harassment after Michael Knight claims other male line chefs sexually harassed him and the Factory punished him when he complained. Punishing someone because they report sexual harassment is referred to as retaliation and is illegal. According to details in the lawsuit, Knight claims line chefs continually grabbed each others' buttocks and genitalia and simulated sexual intercourse in front of him.

For his retaliation claim he alleges that the company punished him and then fired him after he expressed his discomfort and complained. In what is the most disturbing allegation, somone put a sanitary pad on a serving of meatloaf that Knight was about to prepare for a customer. When Knight showed this to a person in charge, the person just smiled. This type of behavior creates a hostile work environment and obviously resulted in this lawsuit. The Cheesecake Factory settled a similar claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") for $345,000 last year. In that case the EEOC conclued the evidence:

"overwhelmingly showed that the men suffered sexually abusive behavior, including abusers directly touching victims' genitals, making sexually charged remarks, grinding their genitals against them, and forcing victims into repeated episodes of simulated rape."

Posted On: December 17, 2010

The EEOC Has Record Number of Discrimination Claims

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") said it received a record 99,922 charges in FY 2010, the highest number of charges in the agency’s 45-year history. The EEOC secured more than $319 million in monetary benefits for individuals which represents the highest level of relief obtained through administrative enforcement in the EEOC’s history. It is clear the EEOC is stepping up enforcement of discrimination throughout the country.

In Illinois if you are the victim of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, or many of the other types of discrimination that create a hostile work environment, you can contact my office to file a charge with the EEOC or the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") which automatically cross-files with the EEOC. I prefer to file with the IDHR because they have fewer cases and more staff to handle the cases. Also the state route in my opinion is a much faster way to proceed and have your case resolved. The EEOC does a good job, but just not as good as the IDHR when it comes to a speedy resolution.

“The EEOC is on the path toward rebuilding and on track to make further progress in the upcoming fiscal year to more efficiently and effectively enforce the federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien.

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Posted On: December 16, 2010

Hi Care Settles Racial Discrimination Lawsuit For $150,000

Hi Care, Inc. pays $150,000 to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). According to accounts which have been published, Hi Care engaged in a pattern and practice of race-based assignments of its caregiving employees. Hi Care employed a practice known as racial coding. Racial coding would identify clients who preferred Caucasian caregivers. It is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make employment decisions about job assignments based on an employee’s race.

As part of the settlement with the EEOC, Hi Care agrees to monitoring by the EEOC to ensure they are not letting this practice happen again. In a case like this the paper work trail of evidence would be difficult to refute. This is a classic case of the company's own business records hurting them. I am glad to see the EEOC hold this company to good business practices.

“We believe that by entering into this consent decree, Hi Care is expressing its determination to prevent future race-based assignments and discrimination,” said EEOC attorney Debra M. Lawrence.
Posted On: December 15, 2010

Patton Archery Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $21,000

Patton Archery Manufacturing, Inc. will settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") for $21,000. According to published settlement details, the owner of Patton subjected three female bow sanders, Brenda Maynard, Julie Roberts and Leslie Querio, to a hostile work environment and engaged in sexual harassment of the females. The sexual harassment included telling and disseminating detailed sexual jokes and unwanted physical touching.

Under the terms of the agreement, Patton will also be prohibited from retaliating against any employees for filing a charge of discrimination or participating in the investigation of any charge of discrimination. Because the industry is dominated by males it makes it even harder for females to break into the field. In this case the owner was doing the sexual harassment which puts the employees in a very tough spot. It is always hard to go against the owner of a company but these women hung in there and fought until the end.

“Although the company closed after the EEOC filed its lawsuit, we continued to pursue this case because these three women were harmed and were entitled to relief,” said EEOC attorney Trek Carethers.
Posted On: December 13, 2010

Waterford Township Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $95,000

Waterford Township settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a female employee in the police department for $95,000. The employee Arlene Hampton, an administrative specialist in the police records division, filed the lawsuit alleging that male supervisors routinely made sexually suggestive statements to her and commented on her body.

According to the lawsuit female employees were referred to as the bra brigade and the bra corps. This type of behavior will always get the employer in trouble and cost them money. It is hard to believe this type of behavior continues. As part of the settlement, Hampton will remain with the police department. Because she is remaining with the department, the payout is lower. It is very important for an individual to come forward immediately if experiencing discrimination or a hostile work environment. This type of activity would form a hostile work environment in Illinois.

Township Director Robert Seeterlin said about training the township will undergo, "That training included how to address a complaint, and how they have to be taken seriously."

Posted On: December 12, 2010

Denver Hotel Management Company Pays $105,000 To Settle Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

The Denver Hotel Management Company pays $105,000 to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The EEOC alleged the company refused to promote a single mother because she had children. According to published documents the woman was denied promotion to a newly created position of assistant human resource director because of her caregiver responsibilities as the mother of two young children, and the job was given to a less qualified and less experienced employee.

The reason give by management was that the woman was being passed over for the job because of her role as a mother of young children, asserting that she could not relocate or work the required 50-60 hour work week because she had a full-time job at home with her children. It is not appropriate or legal to assume just beacuse someone is a single mother they can't do the job. Because woman are affected more by this type of behavior, it falls under the category of gender discrimination.

“Making assumptions about a woman’s ability to perform a job which are not grounded in fact, but instead on stereotyped assumptions about her inability to work long hours due to her child care responsibilities, is unlawful discrimination,” said EEOC attorney Mary Jo O’Neill.
Posted On: December 11, 2010

Securitas Security Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $65,000

Chicago-based Securitas Security Services will pay $65,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of Sheilandra Walker. According to published accounts security guard Walker was subjected to sexual harassment by two male guards; one of whom was her supervisor. If someone is sexually harassed by their supervisor there is strict liability to the company.

The two guards subjected Walker to unwelcome sexual comments, gestures and sexual touching. In probably the most troubling details one of the guards engaged in conduct such as licking his lips and grabbing his crotch while staring at Walker’s breasts, and he would physically touch Walker by blocking the door of the guard shack when she tried to leave so that she had to brush up against him. Once the conduct was reported to management nothing was done to stop it. In fact, the company took a negative job action against Walker and this was the basis for the retaliation claim.

“Employees must be free to report harassment without fear of reprisal,” said EEOC attorney Lynette A. Barnes

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Posted On: December 9, 2010

Sahara Casino Settles Retaliation Lawsuit For $100,000

Sahara Hotel & Casino will pay $100,000 to settle a national origin discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC").
According to details which were published as part of the settlement, Sahara 's supervisors and coworkers continuously belittled and harassed Ezzat Elias, whose job entailed maintaining and delivering food to the hotel buffet, because of his Egyptian heritage. Mr. Elias had to endure many hostile work environment type commnets while doing his job. The commnets included, “Go back to Egypt,” “f-----g Egyptian,” and often referred to him as “Bin Laden.”

Elias also endured graffiti in the men’s locker room and elsewhere, targeting him with phrases such as “sand n----r” and “the Taliban must die.” You can imagion how difficult it would be to go to work every day under these types of conditions. Elias made repeated complaints to management about what was going on and management did nothing to stop it. Instead supervisors retaliated against Elias shortly after his initial complaint by increasing his workload, subjecting him to closer scrutiny, formally disciplining and ultimately suspending him.

“Under federal law, employees of all national origins are protected from this type of harassment,” said Anna Park, EEOC attorney.

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Posted On: December 8, 2010

Steakhouse Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $250,000

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar pays $250,00 to settle a same-sex sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). According to published accounts male employees who worked at Fleming’s were sexually abused by the head chef, Tod Rawson. Rawson frequently pinched or squeezed his subordinates’ private parts, flicked their genitals with his bare hands, and groped them from behind. Employers have a duty to immediately stop sexual harassment when it occurs and in this case not only was it not stopped but it continued for over a year.

Even more shocking details emerged of the hostile work environment as Rawson even used kitchen utensils from the restaurant to touch his victims’ genitals through their clothing. A damning piece of evidence was that several managers at Fleming’s knew what was happening well before formal charges were filed but did nothing to stop it. This leaves management in a position of full liability. Hopefully paying this amount of money will make the company take a hard look at their sexual harassment policy and make the needed changes.

Rayford Irvin, EEOC attorney said, “We want the public to know that sexual harassment isn’t just about misconduct between men and women. It includes sexually abusive behavior between people of the same sex also. Regardless of your gender or anyone else’s, you don’t have to tolerate sexual harassment.”
Posted On: December 7, 2010

Sexual Harassment and Christmas Parties

Oh tis the season to be jolly, but don't get too jolly at the Christmas (holiday) party. For some reason otherwise good employees get a little liquor in their system and act like damn fools at the Christmas party. I guess some can't handle their liquor or some just don't care. Remember at a Christmas party, lewd and sexual comments are not okay and can form the basis for a sexual harassment complaint. Probably the most damning thing that people do at these parties is sexually harass their co-worker in front of everyone. Talk about leaving some nice evidence.

It is probably a good idea for the boss to remind people that the rules and conduct apply to parties and also the boss should make sure a limited amount of alcohol is available--if any. My office sees a spike in sexual harassment cases after these types of parties and it always amazes me that a better job isn't done by management in that regard. Remember the conduct at a party can also create a hostile work environment. Complaints about sexual harassment or a hostile work environment can be filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC").

Posted On: December 6, 2010

Custodial Supervisor Settles Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit For $250,000

The Schenectady school district settles a hostile work environment lawsuit for $250,000 with former custodial supervisor Ronald Kriss. According to published accounts Kriss alleged years of on-the-job harassment by his boss, Steven Raucci which resulted in health problems and drove him to an early retirement. Raucci, 61, was arrested and charged with multiple offenses and was found guilty of all but four of 22 counts, including arson, conspiracy and weapons offenses.

The lawsuit alleges Raucci several times attempted to grab Kriss' genitals in what came to be known as the man game. It sounds like Raucci was a very disturbed individual and the fact that the school district employed him for so long had a lot to do with the settlement amount. This type of behavior is well past the norm and ended up costing the district a good deal of money. This type of activity could also have been categorized as sexual harasment.

Posted On: December 5, 2010

Akai Security Pays $1.62 To Settle Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuits

Akal Security pays $1.62 million to a class of 26 female security guards, settling a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of them by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). Details which have been published claim Akal began a nationwide pattern and practice of forcing its pregnant employees, working as contract security guards on U.S. Army bases, to take leave and discharging them because of pregnancy. Akal also engaged in retaliation against one female by filing criminal charges against her because she filed a claim with the EEOC. That type of activity by a company is scarey and I am glad that the EEOC pursued this matter in an agressive fashion.

In addition to that type of behavior, Akal also created a hostile work environment by subjecting the women to less favorable terms and conditions of employment because of pregnancy, including preventing them from completing their annual physical agility and firearms tests or forcing them to take such tests before their certifications had expired. This type of large settlement should send a message to management that this type of behavior will not be tolerated and will be costly. To other companies that wish to hire Akal Security, I hope they will demand that any discrimination does not take place in the future.

“This is a very important settlement that will help protect an entire class of women from discrimination on account of pregnancy,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien.
Posted On: December 2, 2010

Jesse James Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $725,000

According to published reports a former high level, female executive with West Coast Choppers settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against Jesse James and West Coast Choppers for more than $725,000. The executive claimed that for several years Jesse James repeatedly made sexual advances, which allegedly included sexual acts.

The woman kept several suggestive emails from James which turned out to be his undoing. The woman also kept a telltale Clintonesque T-shirt after an oral encounter with James. This type of evidence is very powerful and usually results in settlement.

Posted On: December 1, 2010

LAZ Parking Settles Religious Discrimination Lawsuit With EEOC For $46,000

LAZ Parking pays $46,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of a Muslim woman. According to accounts with have been published LAZ Parking unlawfully subjected a practicing Muslim woman to discrimination when it terminated her because of her religious beliefs and refusing to remove her head covering (hijab).

This type of activity is taking place more and more and there has been a real increase in religious and national origin discrimination. Both of these types of discrimination cause a hostile work environment for employees.

“LAZ Parking worked diligently with the parties in this case to come to a speedy resolution,” said EEOC attorney Robert Dawkins. “Going forward, we believe LAZ Parking is sincerely committed to avoiding these types of problems.”