Posted On: January 31, 2011

Blythe Amenson Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $400,000

Blythe Amenson the former Argentine Township fire lieutenant settled her sexual harassment lawsuit with the Township for $400,000. According to published accounts she alleged sexual harassment by a former township fire chief and that the township engaged in gender discrimination once she reported the conduct. She alleged former Fire Chief William Harvey continuously made inappropriate gestures and comments toward her, such as complimenting her figure, offering her a hug and asking about her sexual relations with her husband.

Amenson worked for the fire department for a little more than two-years and was dismissed by the township for having a low fire-run count. The problem with that theory was a male firefighter had the same low fire-run count and he was not fired. This was utilized as the basis for showing the township was treating her different because she was a female and because she reported sexual harassment.

Posted On: January 27, 2011

Former Pharmacy College Students File Lawsuit Against Professor For Sexual Harassment

Former student Daniel Papelino can sue a New York pharmacy college for sexual harassment and retaliation after he complained his chemistry teacher was making unwanted sexual advances on him. His case was initially thrown out by the lower court however, the the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit overruled the lower court and is allowing the lawsuit. According to details which have been published, Papelino was a student at Union University's Albany College of Pharmacy and he alleges Deanne Nowak his chemistry professor constantly flirted with him, badgered him to go out with her, and offered to give him extra points on exams.

Things got even more sexual when the two met in Nowak's office. Papelino alleges Nowak put her backside in his face and touched his crotch. Papelino got to the point where he went to the associate dean of student affairs but only a show investigation was performed and Papelino ended up getting kicked out of the university. After going to the dean, Nowak started her own independed investigation into Papelino claiming he was cheating on an exam. Papelino was expelled from school for violating the honor code, however the appeals court found no evidence to support the allegation that Papelino was cheating.

Nowark allegedly told Papelino "Do you know how lonely I've been lately? I thought you might be interested in knowing that."
"Although Dean White was responsible for administering the student code, he did nothing to investigate Papelino's complaint," Judge Chin said. "He did not follow the procedures established by ACP [the college] for processing complaints of sexual harassment. He did not 'take care' of the situation as he had told Papelino he would."

Continue reading " Former Pharmacy College Students File Lawsuit Against Professor For Sexual Harassment " »

Posted On: January 26, 2011

Village Pays $75,000 To Settle Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Village President Thomas Kempinski

Former village employee Ann Kaczmarek settled her sexual harassment lawsuit against the village and the president Thomas Kempinski for $75,000. According to published accounts Kaczmarek alleged Kempinski and the Village Board engaged in retaliation against her for complaining about sexual harassment and ended up firing her. Kaczmarek alleged that Kempinski made sexually suggestive comments and inappropriately touched her during her employment with the village.

Kaczmarek also alleged Kempinski called her during non-work hours to discuss his personal matters and expected her to accompany him on his personal errands away from Village Hall. This would be easy to prove with cell phone records and perhaps witnesses who saw the two of them together around town during work hours. You can see by the size of the settlement that the evidence must have been pretty good in favor of Kaczmarek.

Posted On: January 25, 2011

United Bank Sued For Hostile Work Environment

Kathy Williams filed a lawsuit against her former employer, United Bank, claiming she was subjected to a hostile work environment. The basis for her lawsuit is that the co-pastor of the church who also worked with her at United Bank treated church members different than non-church members. Williams alleges she and Sammons, who was the co-pastor at the church, often discussed church business at work. Sammons described the other bank employees who also attended the church as protected employees.

The trouble started in May 2009 when Williams quit attending services at the church and in October 2009 she withdrew her membership at the church. Within a very short period of time after withdrawing her membership she was terminated. She is claiming religious discrimination based on her quitting church and then being fired. Prior to being fired, Williams complained to management but nothing was done to correct the hostile work environment.

Williams alleges Sammons said that she was "no longer protected."
Posted On: January 24, 2011

Lesbian Fitness Instructors File Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit Against Gym Owner

Deborah Cooke and Christina Rodino both lesbian fitness instructors filed a lawsuit claiming discrimination based on sexual orientation and the creation of a hostile work environment against gym owner David Barton and his gym David Barton Gym. According to published accounts both women were fired after they put up with antigay comments and sexual harassment. Some of the details of the lawsuit include allegations that Cooke was called Lesbian Deb and asked by a male coworker whether she was going to strap on a penis tonight.

When the women complained about the discrimination the owner fired them which would constitute retaliation. There are facts in this case which indicate the gym had a large gay membership and this type of behavior is not only illegal if proven but also from a business standpoint stupid. This blog will keep track of the lawsuit and post updates when they happen. My guess is the case will settle prior to trial like most lawsuits do.

They both claim they were asked to “engage in sexual relations with another woman at the workplace."

Continue reading " Lesbian Fitness Instructors File Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit Against Gym Owner " »

Posted On: January 23, 2011

Trial At The Illinois Human Rights Commission Not The Only Alternative

If you have been the victim of sexual harassment, a hostile work environment or retaliation you have options after your case has been found to have substantial evidence by the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR"). You can proceed to trial before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") at the Illinois Human Rights Commission ("IHRC") or you can file a complaint in the circuit court of the county where the discrimination took place. There is an additional tactical consideration. If the basis for the sexual harassment were say events that can also be alleged in a complaint of intentional infliction of emotional distress, you could file a complaint with the IHRC and a separate complaint in the circuit court for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress.

The basis for being able to file this additional complaint is found in a variety of court decisions. In Pavilon v. Kaferly, 561 N.E. 2d 1245, 204 Ill. App. 3d 235 (Ill. App. 1 Dist. 1990), the court held that the tort of Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress required proof of more than was required for sexual harassment and served a different policy than that served by the Human Rights Act, therefore the claim was not preempted by the Human Rights Act. For this reason one could give consideration to whether there are facts sufficient to file a complaint for trial with the IHRC and also a claim in circuit court for Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. Such a claim needs to prove, the conduct involved is truly extreme and outrageous; second, the actor must either intend that his conduct inflict severe emotional distress, or know that there is at least a high probability that his conduct will cause severe emotional distress; lastly, the conduct must in fact cause severe emotional distress.

Posted On: January 22, 2011

Paul Big M's Grocery Store Must Pay $1.2 Million After Losing Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Big Paul M grocery store must pay $1,260,080 after a jury ruled against them in a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). According to testimony at trial a class of female employees, many of whom were teenagers still in high school at the time, was subjected to a hostile work environment by the store’s general manager for more than 10 years. Details of the sexual harassment included egregious acts of verbal and physical sexual conduct by the company’s general manager, Allen Manwaring.

As an example of the sexual harassment Manwaring suggested a sexual threesome with one teenage cashier’s mother, stuck his tongue in another teenage cashier’s mouth and grabbed and touched the breasts and buttocks of other women. It didn't stop there, Manwaring would also make propositions for sex, make lewd gestures to employees and refuse to stop when asked to do so. Many of the young females could not take it anymore and quit their job. This is often called a constructive discharge.

EEOC attorney Ami Sanghvi said, “The harassment at the store was especially egregious because many of the employees were teenage girls who were harassed by the General Manager, who was engaged to the owner, and felt they had no where to turn for help."
Posted On: January 21, 2011

Truck Plaza Settles Age Discrimination Lawsuit For $11,500

Timeless Investments, Inc., doing business as EZ Trip Golden State Convenience and Auto/Truck Plaza )"Plaza" settled an age discrimination lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") for $11,500. The lawsuit was filed because the Plaza failed to hire older workers who were qualified for the positions they applied for.

According to the EEOC, the older applicants were separately instructed to write their ages on the top corner of their respective employment applications and then denied employment based on their age. This conduct is a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA"). The company acted in such a fashion as to not even hide their discriminatory conduct. I am glad the EEOC was able to hold the company accountable and stop future discrimination from taking place.

“Age stereotyping continues to remain a problem, and we hope employers proactively ensure that impediments are removed to allow older workers to apply for jobs equally.” said EEOC attorney Anna Park.

Posted On: January 19, 2011

EEOC Says Firefighter Sexually Harassed

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") completed its investigation and found a female Houston firefighter was subjected to a hostile work environment based on gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation. According to published accounts firefighter Jane Draycott found sexual slurs scrawled on her locker after she complained about workplace conditions. The fire department has denied allegations of sexual harassment, gender discrimination and retaliation and the fire department has been unable to find those responsible.

In this case Draycott is not only fighting the city but also the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association ("HPFFA"). The HPFFA is criticizing the EEOC's investigation saying not enough firefighters were interviewed. You would think the union would rally around one of its members when she is being treated in a discriminatory manner. I am glad the EEOC is sticking around and not letting this type of behavior stand. My guess is both parties will want to settle the case at this point and a settlement is probably near.

"There is reasonable cause to believe that the charging party was subjected to a hostile work environment based on her gender and was retaliated against for engaging in a protected activity," the EEOC said.
Posted On: January 18, 2011

Former Police Officer Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $275,000

Suzanne Des Marais a former part-time special law enforcement officer in Plumsted settled her sexual harassment lawsuit with the department for $275,000. According to details alleged in the lawsuit, Marais said Lt. George Titko sexually harassed her and as a result she was unable to continue with her job. While she was being sexually harassed she was also injured on the job and has a worker compensation claim pending against her former employer.

The evidence in this case must have been pretty good for the city to pay this amount of money. In cases where the evidence is lacking, the other side will usually only pay nuisance value to settle the lawsuit. In this case, the city paid a substantial amount and they will still have to pay an additional amount in the workers compensation case. I am glad to see this woman receive a fair amount. You can see by this case how much a sexual harassment case can cost an employer.

“The physical injuries have nothing to do with the psychological or emotional injuries she sustained as a result of the sexual harassment,” said attorney McDermott
Posted On: January 17, 2011

Former Finance Officer Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $250,000

The city of Winder paid Sue Fowler, a former accounts payable manager $250,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. According to published accounts of the settlement Fowler claimed that she was fired after filing a sexual harassment complaint. Being fired after filing a sexual harassment complaint would be retaliation. In order to prove Fowler was fired for a non-discriminatory reason the city would have to allege facts that would support some type of misconduct or lack of fitness for the job.

Fowler claimed she was dismissed shortly after complaining that finance director Leslie Ginn repeatedly made sexual advances toward her. She said Ginn repeatedly tried to entice her into a sexual relationship. I would suspect there was some pretty good evidence for the city to pay $250,000 to settle this case. If there were no evidence, I would imagion the city would just fight the case and win at trial. Fowler alleged city leaders chose to include her in some layoffs early in 2009 because of the sexual harassment complaint--which makes up her retaliation complaint.

Posted On: January 16, 2011

Argentine Township Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $400,000

Argentine Township settled a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by Blythe Amenson for $400,000. According to published details in the lawsuit Amenson was a former lieutenant with the Argentine Township Fire Department working for a little more than two-years. Amenson claimed Fire Chief William Harvey made unwelcome comments that were sexual in nature. The unwelcome conduct and communications created a hostile work environment for Amenson. There obviously was some good evidence or the township would not have paid this large amount of money.

On the retaliation count of the lawsuit Amenson was discharged from her position as lieutenant of the fire department by the fire chief and Argentine Township after being sexually harassed. The reason given for the discharge was for not reaching the fire run count, yet a male firefighter who had a lower run count, remained employed. When an employee complains of sexual harassment and then is discharged for a reason that seems dishonest, a retaliation complaint will usually follow. In this case, the discharge was within a short period of time of the sexual harassment complaint and the motivation for the discharge seemed obvious.

Amerson said "Not wanting to put any negative light on the fire department, as a whole, I miss all those people. The guys have been phenomenal and like family to me.”

Posted On: January 15, 2011

Northwest Cosmetic Labs Settles Retaliation Lawsuit For $30,000

Northwest Cosmetic Labs will pay $30,000 to settle a lawsuit based on national origin and retaliation. The lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf on a British subject born in Zimbabwe. According to published accounts, the employee was hired after a series of phone interviews for a full-time paid internship in cosmetic formulation. She did not interview in person because she was living in England at the time. Upon her arrival in Idaho Falls, she was told by her supervisor that employees at the company would likely be surprised to find out that she was black, since she was British.

What really happened of course was the company saw she was black and did not want her to be an employee. What the company did was try to make it so she failed because she was not the white person they thought they were getting. She received little to no direction from her supervisors and was rarely given assignments, despite her repeated requests to be given work. Her treatment stood in stark contrast to that of the company’s two other interns, who were both Caucasian. She was fired a short time laster.

“Instead of encountering the exemplary American values of justice and equality, this young visitor was treated to discrimination and punishment for standing up for her rights,” said EEOC attorney Michael Baldonado.
Posted On: January 14, 2011

Cover Girls Settles Age Discrimination Lawsuit For $60,000

Cover Girls, a company engaged in adult business settles an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of waitress Mary Bassi. Published documents in the lawsuit indicated the EEOC alleged Cover Girls violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") by harassing and ultimately firing a waitress because of her age. For its part Cover Girls’ management began hiring younger female waitresses and scheduling them for shifts in place of Bassi, despite the fact that she was performing her duties well and had received no recent disciplinary actions.

Allegedly two male managers at Cover Girls, both in their 30s, began harassing and discriminating against Mary Bassi, who was in her 50s, because of her age. The ADEA protects workers who are over the age of forty. The lawsuit goes on to claim that these managers referred to Bassi as old and made other negative comments about her age, including telling her she was exhibiting signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Bassi worked for the company for 13 years prior to being fired. This case could also have been filed based on gender discrimination because Bassi was being singled out because of her gender as well.

“Age discrimination cannot and will not be tolerated in any business or industry no matter what sector they occupy,” said EEOC attorney James Sacher.
Posted On: January 13, 2011

Seymour ZX settles Retaliation Lawsuit For $20,000

Seymour ZX a franchisee of the Zaxby’s restaurant chain, pays $20,000 to settle a retaliation lawsuit first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of two former employees. According to published lawsuit documements, two employees of a Zaxby’s were fired because they complained about sexual harassment. Both employees were fired on the same day and banned from the store. If someone complains of sexual harassment and is fired or has other negative job actions taken against him, it is referred to as retaliation and it is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In this case the company should have taken the sexual harassment cases seriously and not fired to two workers. Shooting the messenger is never a good idea. There are more cases of retaliation taking place and employers need to educate themselves as to the legal ramifications if they choose to terminate employees for bring illegal acts to their attention. I am glad the EEOC was able to get to the bottom of this case and settle it in a manner that was good for the two fired employees.

“Retaliation charges have been on the rise for years, and it is a real concern,” said EEOC attorney Faye Williams.
Posted On: January 12, 2011

Marriott Las Vegal Resort Sued For Sexual Harassment

JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort, Spa & Golf is being sued for sexual harassment of its female resort staff. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and alleges at least two female restaurant servers at the resort were subjected to aggressive sexual harassment by a male co-worker who later became their supervisor.

Published accounts allege the harasser repeatedly engaged in verbal and physical harassment including rubbing his body against the women, groping them, and consistently making vulgar remarks. This type of conduct is going to cost the company a great deal of money and I will be checking in on this case and reporting back on the final settlement or if there is a trial, the judgment.

"These women worked in fear on a daily basis,” said EEOC attorney Anna Park
Posted On: January 11, 2011

Discrimination Filings With the EEOC Hit All-Time High

Discrimination charges filed by workers against their employers have reached an all-time high according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The discrimination that is taking place against workers is at an unprecedented level of 99,922 cases filed during 2010. During that same period of time the EEOC secured more than $404 million in monetary benefits from employers -- the highest level of monetary relief ever obtained by the Commission through the administrative process.

The EEOC broke the categories down into the top five in terms of the most cases that are filed. The numbers are as follows: Retaliation under all statutes (36,258), racial discrimination (35,890) Disability discrimination--Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA") (25,165) age discrimination (23,264) and sexual harassment (11,717). I believe the increase in discrimination charges is a direct result of the bad economy and the belief by management that they can do what they want with employees and get away with it.

EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien said. "Discrimination continues to be a substantial problem for too many job seekers and workers, and we must continue to build our capacity to enforce the laws that ensure that workplaces are free of unlawful bias."
Posted On: January 10, 2011

Fulton County Illinois Treasurer Files Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

Fulton County Illinois Treasurer Victoria Harper filed a lawsuit alleging gender discrimination and is seeking to recover lost wages and collect damages in excess of $750,000 from the county. According to published accounts, Harper's salary was set by the board at $58,300 and frozen for the next four years. However, both the Fulton County Clerk and Fulton County Circuit Clerk were both given increases over the same period. Harper is also alleging that various men in management positions treated her in a hostile fashion by yelling at her and making unreasonable demands.

According to the lawsuit demands were made of Harper that were not made of other individuals and that fell outside of the scope of her position. In a case like this, Harper will have to show that she is being treated differently than others because she is a female. The other two clerks in this case are both females which in my opinion will make the issue harder to prove. From what was alleged it sounds like the conduct of the men who yelled at Harper could have also amounted to a hostile work environment.

Posted On: January 9, 2011

Women Settles Religious Discrimination Lawsuit For $110,000

Testing company Measurement Inc. pays $110,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of Jacqueline Dukes. According to published accounts Measurement Inc. discriminated against Jacqueline Dukes when it fired her for refusing to work on her Sabbath. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against employees and applicants because of their religion. Title VII requires employers to reasonably accommodate individuals as long as it does not create an undue hardship on the employer.

Dukes is a member of a Christian denomination called Children of Yisrael which prohibits its members from working on the Sabbath, from sunset on Friday until sunset on Saturday. The EEOC enforces federal law when it comes to employment issues related to discrimination. In this case, the employer could have made a reasonable accomodation for Dukes and this would have saved the company a great deal of money. The EEOC could have filed an additional charge of retaliation against the company for firing Dukes. Many times EEOC complaints will have multiple counts and allegations.

"Some employers still need to be educated that they are required by law to explore reasonable accommodations to solve situations like this,” said EEOC attorney Lynette A. Barnes.
Posted On: January 8, 2011

Terry Pearson Settles Age Discrimination Lawsuit For $91,000

The City of Greensboro will pay $91,000 to Terry Pearson to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on his behalf. According to published documents in the case the city failed to hire then 58-year-old Pearson and instead hired three younger candidates. The job was an electronic processes specialist within the city’s 911 Division. The job involved maintenance of the city’s radio communication systems for first responders. Pearson previously owned an electronics repair shop and had other substantial experience in electronics repair and maintenance through various technician jobs. Remarkebly, the city selected three substantially younger applicants, all under age 40, who were not as qualified as Pearson.

The lawsuit was filed under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") after the city failed to hire Pearson. Additionally several individuals in the case testified that Pearson was rejected because of his age, and specifically, that the hiring manager was concerned Pearson might retire soon after being hired. There was another twist in this case as well. There was an additional claim against the city for failure to preserve records related to hiring for the position. Federal law requires all employers to keep documents related to personnel decisions for at least one year.

This type of behavior exhibited by management can also lead to a hostile work environment for other workers because of the signal it sends to them. When a work force believes management does not want to hire older workers, it must make them wonder what will happen to them once they turn 40.

Posted On: January 7, 2011

Nancy Lopez Former Parking Authority Clerk Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $300,000

Nancy Lopez who worked as a clerk for the Jersey City Parking Authority settled her sexual harassment lawsuit for $300,000. She alleged that she was sexually harassed by three senior members of management including a director and the assistant CEO. She also alleged that the Director of Enforcement Fernando Picariello engaged in sexual harassment by repeatedly touching her, making sexual advances, touching her buttocks and legs and suggesting that she had nice boobs.

The sexual harassment was bad enough but then Lopez reported the conduct to Chairman Michael Holloway he did nothing to stop the sexual harassment. The other two men involved were Raymond Manzo and David Lerner." Lerner is the assistant chief executive officer and Manzo is an enforcement officer. This type of behavior is scary for a low level worker especially when the men engaging in it are all senior executives. You can tell by the settlement amount that her story was believable. This type of behavior also created a hostile work environment for Lopez and she probablly did not see any way out. As part of the settlement she was forced to resign her position.

"I can't help that people make allegations," Holloway said. "There are two sides of the story."

Posted On: January 6, 2011

Chicago Area Jewel Settles Discrimination Lawsuit For $3.2 Million

Jewel-Osco stores settled a disability discrimination lawsuit for $3.2 million resolving the case which was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s ("EEOC"). The lawsuit stemmed from a store policy of terminating employees with disabilities at the end of medical leaves of absence rather than bringing them back to work with reasonable accommodations. This policy affected almost 1,000 employees in the greater Chicago area who were allegedly terminated under this policy since 2003.

For various reasons not all of the 1000 former employees are eligable to collect part of the money--only 110 former employees will share in the money. The conduct of the company violated the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA"). As a result of the lawsuit the policy at Jewel will be revised and this type of activity should not occur in the future. The EEOC did a great job enforcing current law and making sure a large employer did not continue discriminating against its' workforce. This type of behavior by a company also creates a very hostile work environment for employees.

“This very important settlement underscores the EEOC’s commitment to vigorous enforcement of the Americans With Disabilities Act and to ensuring that all workers receive fair and equal treatment in the workplace,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien.
Posted On: January 5, 2011

Car Dealer Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $125,000

David Chevrolet settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with three employees for $125,000. The lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of the employees who claimed the dealership created a hostile work environment for the salespeople. According to published accounts because of the sexual harassment the two women quit and the man was fired in retaliation when he complained about the hostile work environment.

Details of the sexual harassment and hostile work environment include exposing the two women to pornography, photos of topless women and lewd comments. The male employee claimed he was sexually harassed based on stereotypes of how a man should act, including assigning him a derogatory e-mail address and subjecting him to comments about highlights in his hair and crude sexual comments when it was learned he had a girlfriend.

Chevrolet attorney Hugh Carlin said "the company agreed to settle the claims because of the anticipated substantial expenditure of time and money necessary to successfully defend itself through trial.”
Posted On: January 4, 2011

Secretary Files Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Kezjar Motors

Jennifer Denise Burch a former secretary of Kezjar Motors filed a sexual harassment and constructive discharge lawsuit against the company. According to court documnets management refused to address a sexual harassment situation resulting in her constructive discharge. Burch began working for Kezjar Motors in 2006 and after about a year one of her co-workers grabbed her and made sexually suggestive comments.

Burch said this happened on multiple occasions and she reported this inappropriate conduct to management. However, management refused to address the sexual harassment. The sexual harassment only got worse and Burch finally had to quit work. When an employee has to quit their job because of sexual harsassment it is also known as a constructive discharge.

The lawsuit says "Feeling that the working circumstances had become unconscionable and unbearable, Ms. Burch felt that she had no choice but to resign in order to preserve her own well-being and dignity."
Posted On: January 3, 2011

Former Grocery Store Manager Accused Of Sexual Harassment

Eleven former employees of a grocery store called Paul's Big M claim the manager, Allen Manwaring, sexually harassed them physically and verbally over eight years. According to the females allegations Manwaring rubbed himself against them in a sexual way and also touched their breasts and buttocks. As if that weren't enough he also made sexual advances and vulgar comments to them. The sexual harassment lawsuit is finally coming to trial today and this blog will keep you updated as to the result.

Two of the young females were fired after they complained, which is considered retaliation. The other nine said they quit because of the harassment or retaliation, which is considered a constructive discharge. The case was first filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and the EEOC conducted an investigation which substantiated the female workers claims.

“For many, the job at the company was the first they ever held and all were essentially half Mr. Manwaring’s age at the time they were first harassed,” the EECO said.
Posted On: January 2, 2011

Former Apple Employment Files Lawsuit In Illinois For Disability Discrimination

Former Apple employee Nicole Sutton filed a discrimination lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Illinois alleging Apple discriminated against her in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA"). The allegations include negative job actions after treatment by a psychiatrist for a nervous disorder, the company keeping her in limbo without duties for several months because of the disability and Sutton being denied a promotion after Apple questioned her mental stability.

The complaint says that she was not mentally ill and she was constructively discharged by Apple’s actions. A constructive discharge occurs when an employee is under such harsh conditions that she must quit and therefore it is treated as a termination by the company if able to be proved. Sutton also claims she suffered humiliation, emotional distress and is seeking $300,000 in damages.

Sutton said "her medical condition was improperly disclosed to Apple store personnel by the company handling her disability claim."

Continue reading " Former Apple Employment Files Lawsuit In Illinois For Disability Discrimination " »

Posted On: January 1, 2011

Illinois Wal-Mart Sued For Sexual Harassment

Roben Hall filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Wal-Mart and it is headed for a trial before the Illinois Human Rights Commission ("IHRC") on February 11, 2011. Hall claims she was subjected to sexual harassment while working as an overnight stocker for Wal-Mart. To make matters worse for Wal-Mart they fired Hall and according to published reports have threatened additional legal action against her if she continues with this lawsuit--claiming she is acting in bad faith.

In this case the sexual harassment alleged was between two women. Any sexual harassment can cause a hostile work environment for all workers not just the one being harassed. Also in Illinois one must first file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") before the case ever makes it to the IHRC. Even though the case is scheduled for trial soon, unless a pre-trial statement is filed in advance and neither party files a motion for discovery, the case trial date will only act as a first status hearing and the Judge will set discovery deadlines.

According to Hall, "one manager told her that he didn't have to investigate Hall's complaint because it involved two women."
Posted On: January 1, 2011

Sexual Orientation and Hostile Work Environments

My Chicago office is getting more and more calls from employees who are being discrminated against based on their sexual orientation. You would not believe the types of comments some employees have to put up with. Many gay employees take a tremendous amount of abuse from some immature and just plain mean people. This type of activity creates a hostile work environment for every employee not just the person being discriminated against.

It the past most of the hostile work environment cases revolved around sexual harassment issues but more and more sexual orientation seems to be taking center stage. It is extremely important for a gay person to realize they don' thave to take this type of treatment. In fact many times the person being called gay and having these types of comments directed at him isn't even gay.