Posted On: August 31, 2011

Pine View Living Inc. Sued For Retaliation

Pine View Living, Inc. is being accused of violating federal law by firing an employee for filing a job discrimination complaint. This is commonly referred to as retaliation. The against Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") filed the complaint on behalf of Rae Anderson. According to published accounts Anderson was fired from her job because she complained to management and ended up filing a discrimination claim based on racial discrimination.

It is always amazing that a company can be so stupid as to fire an employee after they file a formal complaint of discrimination. It is against the law to punish an employee for asserting her rights. My Chicago office is seeing more and more of this type of activity and we are fighting hard to make sure it doesn't continue to happen. I will be following this case to see if the parties are able to settle prior to trial. Over 90% of all lawsuits end up settling prior to trial.

EEOC Chicago Attorney John C. Hendrickson said, “Title VII’s anti-retaliation provision means what it says: Don’t retaliate.”

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Posted On: August 30, 2011

Hostile Work Environment Can't Be Based On General Harassment In Illinois

In the State of Illinois there is no such thing as general harassment. The legislature tried unsuccessfully to pass a bullying in the workplace law but it was defeated. What that means is if your boss is just a general jerk and yells and screams there isn't much you can do other than quit. Unless the hostile work environment is created because of sexual harassment, age discrimination or other forms of recognized discrimination you can't file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") or the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR"). If the hostile work environment is being created based on a discriminatory category you can file directly with either the IDHR or EEOC--although I recommend hiring an employment lawyer on contingency to file on your behalf and to protect your rights.

My Chicago offices gets many calls from employee who are the victims of general harassment and unfortunately there isn't much I can do. However it is always a good idea to call my office or the office of an employment attorney to discuss because sometimes even though the boss is being a jerk and it seems like a general harassment case, he may only be yelling at you because you are the only female or only gay employee in which instance you may have a case.

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Posted On: August 29, 2011

Sexual Harassment Cases In Illinois And Text Messages

Are text messages a good form of proof in sexual harassment cases? Yes, they are very good forms of evidence. The text message will show the phone numbers of both people involved in the exchange as well as the content and date. In Illinois my office files cases of sexual harassment with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR"). When filing I will attach copies of the text messages to show the actual sexual harassment that was taking place. Many times the person doing the harassment will deny that any sexual harassment took place so it is important attach copies of text messages so the company management or company attorney can see what has actually taken place.

My Chicago office is also seeing more hostile work environment cases where instant messages are being used to sexually harass someone. Again, it is very important to print out these messages and save them--saving them electronically is also good. The amount that is paid by a company to settle a sexual harassment or hostile work environment case will increase greatly if there is proof of the discrimination. Technology is working to the advantage of employees and it is important to protect your rights by saving incriminating evidence.

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Posted On: August 27, 2011

Huntersville Searford Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $86,000

Huntersville Seafood, Inc. pays $86,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit. The sexual harassment lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") after Peter Economos and other male employees came forward with complaints about being sexually harassed by a male co-worker. It is unusual to have a sexual harassment case involving male-on-male sexual harassment.

The lawsuit details are troubling. According to published accounts the victims were touched on the buttocks, nipples, and testicles and were subjected to almost daily sexual gestures and comments. The employees complainted to management about what was going on and even the owner was made aware--but nothing happened. In fact after Economos complained about the sexual harassment, he was terminated. It is called retaliation when you are fired for complaining about discrimination.

EEOC attorney Lynette A. Barnes said ,“This settlement is a great result for Mr. Economos and the other victims of the harassment.” “This case serves as a reminder to employers that sexual harassment can occur between employees of the same sex and must be addressed if it occurs.”

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Posted On: August 26, 2011

Briggs Equipment Inc. Settles Racial Discrimination Lawsuit For $112,000

Briggs Equipment, Inc. pays $112,000 to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit. The lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and alleged that Bobby Wysong was subjected to racial discrimination when he was terminated from his position as a technician because of his race, black. A company cannot take an adverse action against an employee based on his race or other protected category. In Illinois this type of activity could result in a complaint being filed with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR") as well as the EEOC.

According to published accounts Briggs subjected Wysong to a hostile work environment by employees calling Briggs various derogatory names. The main culprit was management employee Mario Rodriguez who referred to Wysong as a “n----r,” “slave” and “dark horse” in conjunction with expressly stating he wanted Wysong fired. The amazing thing was Rodriguez admitted to the comments and other employees also came forward to corroborate the story.

EEOC attorney Eduardo Juarez said “Not only have we obtained significant financial relief for Bobby Wysong, the employment practices that Briggs uses will be greatly improved. No one should have to put up with racial abuse in their place of work – or, even worse, losing his livelihood because of racism.”

Continue reading " Briggs Equipment Inc. Settles Racial Discrimination Lawsuit For $112,000 " »

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Posted On: August 25, 2011

Forrest City Grocery Company Pays $125,000 To Settle Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

Forrest City Grocery Company will pay $125,000 to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit. The gender discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of employee Amanda McMillan who was denied a sales position because she was female. This type of behavior is against the law and will result in a lawsuit every time. The EEOC is very vigilant about this type of activity and as you can see by the large settlement amount, they make companies pay when they engage in this type of behavior.

Details in the lawsuit allege the company told McMillan the job of a salesman was too dangerous for a woman, and that she would not be a good mother if she were on the road meeting customers. Apparently McMillan was also paid less money than her male counterparts. It is hard to believe people in leadership positions still make comments like this. The EEOC was able to settle this quickly and McMillan received a nice payday.

“Women make valuable contributions to the work force, yet they are too often denied opportunities at work based on gender stereotypes and old-fashioned ideas about a woman’s proper place,” said EEOC attorney Delner Franklin-Thomas.

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Posted On: August 24, 2011

Premier Well Services LLC Pays $30,000 To Settle Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

Premier Well Services, LLC, pays $30,000 to settle a religious discrimination lawsuit. The lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") because the company refused to hire an applicant because of his religious beliefs. It is illegal for a company to ask about a persons religious beliefs or to take any type of negative action based on religion.

Premier Well denied that it engaged in any type of discrimination and claims it only settled the case to put the matter behind them. This type of excuse is often used and in my opinion paying $30,000 is more than just putting the case behind them. There must have been more to it than just an allegation.

“Because of the economy, job applicants face many obstacles in finding employment,” EEOC Attorney Faye Williams.

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Posted On: August 23, 2011

3M Pays $3 Million To Settle Age Discrimination Lawsuit

3M pays $3 million to a class of former employees to settle a nationwide age discrimination lawsuit, The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), on behalf of hundreds of employees over the age of 45 during a series of reductions in force from July 1, 2003 through Dec. 31, 2006. As is typical with big companies 3M laid off many highly paid older employees to save money. Employees give the most productive years of their lives to big companies and then they get the ax. This is a horrible way to treat workers. Treating a worker different based on age violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("AEDA") and will result in a claim of age discrimination.

The lawsuit also alleged that older employees were denied leadership training and laid off to make way for younger leaders. During discovery in the lawsuit the EEOC uncovered an employee e-mail describing then-CEO Jim McNerney’s “vision for leadership development” as “we should be developing 30 year olds with General Manager potential” and “He wants us to tap into the youth as participants in the leadership development.” These were all code words for get rid of the old workers and hire new younger ones. Well the EEOC did not give up and held the companies feet to the fire. A settlement this large should send a signal to other would be discriminating companies.

“The law requires employers to base employment decisions upon each person’s strengths and talents instead of relying upon generalized assumptions calculated around an employee’s age,” said EEOC attorney Michael Baldonado.

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Posted On: August 22, 2011

Hostile Work Environments Need Basis Of Discrimination

In Illinois the basis for the hostile work environment needs to be some form of discrimination. Usuallly a claim of sexual harassment will form the basis of the hostile work environment. There is no such thing as general harassment in Illinois so it isn't enough if the boss is just a jerk and yells at you. The pool treatment needs to be based on some form of protected category like gender, race, age, national origin, etc. I know this doesn't sound fair or right but in Illinois it is the law. The legislature tried to pass a general harassment type law called the bullying law but it did not pass earlier in the year--so write your legislator if you want it passed.

Many times even though it may seem like the boss is just a jerk, he may be picking on you because he didn't like females or minorities. It is very important to speak with an employment attorney early on so that you can learn your rights and how best to proceed. In Chicago there are many options for someone who is the victim of discrimination. I believe the best option is to make a plan and to try and obtain as much evidence as possible before doing anything. Remember that the call to my office is free and it is better to get an opinion than to go it alone. The company has people working on their behalf so should you.

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Posted On: August 21, 2011

Sexual Harassment May Be Subtle

Many times in sexual harassment cases the evidence may be subtle in nature. There may not be a smoking gun. It is very important to try and remember the names of people who may have been witnesses to what is going on. If possible try to never be alone with the person harassing you. If the person wants to talk on the phone, try and have someone in the room with you and put the harassor on speaker. Another thing you may do is to send the harassor an email confirming what they said to you in person and see how they respond. This can confirm the hostile work environment and help you in the future.

I believe it is very important to think ahead and try to get as much evidence as possible before going forward with a sexual harassment claim. Remember once you go to human resources the harassor will be extra careful and if you can't back up your claim the company may take action against you for filing a false claim. It is very important to get the advice of an employment lawyer before doing anything. Remember the company is going to have people on their payroll protecting them, you should have somone too.

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Posted On: August 20, 2011

Starbuck Pays $75,000 To Settle Discrimination Lawsuit

Starbucks will pay $75,000 to settle an Americans With Disability Act ("ADA") lawsuit. The ADA lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), on behalf of Elsa Sallard, a dwarf who was alleging a reasonable accommodation from the company under the ADA. Sallard was denied a job at Starbucks because of her size. Sallard applied for a job that said no experience required and she was then told she wasn't tall enough to serve coffee and work. This type of employment discrimination is not tolerated any longer around the country and in Illinois.

Sallard alleged that during the orientation training, she could use a stool or small stepladder to more easily perform some of the tasks of preparing orders and serving customers. The manager at Starbucks disregarded Sallard’s request, and on the same day Starbucks terminated her employment, claiming that she would pose a “danger” to customers and employees. Talk about being cruel and not very understanding. The company is required by law to make a reasonable accommodation if it does not present a business problem.

“Starbucks swift action to work constructively with the EEOC in this case, not only by compensating the applicant who was turned away, but by committing to additional training for other stores in the El Paso area, sends the right signal from the corporate office,” said EEOC attorney Robert A. Canino

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Posted On: August 19, 2011

Wal-Mart Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $27,500

Wal-Mart Stores of Texas, LLC pays $27,500 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of Paula Barstad. According to published accounts Barstad was the victim of sexual harassment while working as a an overnight stocker. The sexual harassment was performed by a male security guard. The harassment included verbal remarks and physical touching.

Barstad reported the sexual harassment to management on multiple occasions, but nothing was done to stop the harassment. In fact Barstad even submitted two written complaints about the sexual harassment and incredibly management disregarded the reports and the sexual harassment continued. I bet it won't continue now that the company had to pay money and get this type of negative publicity. I am always amazed that companies don't take sexual harassment serious.

“Sexual harassment by persons in security positions is particularly troubling given that such positions should promote a sense of safety not only to customers, but to the store employees as well,” said EEOC attorney Robert A. Canino.

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Posted On: August 18, 2011

Allstar Fitness Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $150,000

Allstar Fitness pays $150,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit. The lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") after the employee came forward with a complaint. According to documents that are available to the public a custodial worker says she was raped repeatedly by her immediate supervisor, while working at two Allstar Fitness locations. Of course rape is a criminal offense and it is unclear as to whether criminal charges were filed.

The woman claims she was fired by her immediate supervisor when she reported it to management. When you report sexual harassment and are then fired it is called retaliation. The company really made a mistake when it fired the worker shortly after she complained about sexual harassment. In Illinois there is strict liability if a supervisor and person he controls engage in sex. If you look at how much money was given to settle this case, that should tell you how factual the complaint of sexual harassment was.

"They should have known better, as an employer you absolutely have the duty and obligation to protect your workers.", said EEOC attorney May Che

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Posted On: August 17, 2011

New York University Pays $210,000 To Settle Retaliation Lawsuit

New York University ("NYU") pays $210,000 to settle a national origin discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The lawsuit alleged that NYU violated federal law by subjecting an African-born employee from Ghana to a hostile work environment that included degrading verbal harassment. When an employee is subjected to hostile comments it not only affects that employee but it can have a negative impact on all employees.

Published accounts reveal that the supervisor of the mailroom regularly addressed the employee with slurs such as “monkey” and “gorilla” and insults such as “go back to your cage” and “do you want a banana?” It is unbelievable that this type of conduct was taking place at an institution of higher learning. It took NYU a very long time to investigate the employee’s many complaints and then took virtually no corrective action. To make matters worse, NYU was even aware that the supervisor made up stories to get the man in trouble and to discipline him. I am glad the man hung in there and made the University pay.

“This suit shows that ugly harassment and retaliation can happen anywhere, even at a prestigious university,” said EEOC Gillian L. Thomas

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Posted On: August 16, 2011

Marital Status Inquiry A Form Of Discrimination

In Illinois it is a violation of the law for an employer to inquire as to your marital status. Many people will say that this sounds odd and what is the big deal? Well the problem with asking about the marital status is two fold. First, an employer may decide that a single person may be less stable or may have a harder time juggling home and kids with work. Second, and employer doesn't have a need to know your personal business. Whether you are married or not doesn't have anything to do with your job.

If you are being asked these types of questions or if you are not being promoted because you are a single mother you can contact my office and we can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR"). Any claim filed with the IDHR will be cross-filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") but the IDHR will take the lead in investigation. Any form of discrimination also creates a hostile work environment for workers and should be addressed. Other forms of discrimination get more headlines and are more familiar to people but marital status discrimination is actionable in Illinois.

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Posted On: August 15, 2011

Are Rude Comments A Hostile Work Environment?

My Chicago offices gets many calls regarding a hostile work environment. Many callers ask if there is a hostile work environment based on the boss yelling at them or otherwise treating them poorly. Unfortunately in Illinois there is no general harassment law. Another words, in order to have a hostile work environment in Illinois there must be an underlying basis of discrimination. So for example if you are the subject of sexual harassment then there could be a creation of a hostile work environment.

However if the boss is just a jerk and yells and screams there isn't much you can do about it. Unless the boss is treating you different because of your gender or race or other protected class you just have to take it. Perhaps in the future the legislature will pass a general harassment law but until they do, there isn't one. However, sometimes after talking to employees I can determine that the boss is picking on the person and perhaps the person is the only female at work so perhaps it is really a gender discrimination case. The bottom line is to speak with an employment attorney.

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Posted On: August 14, 2011

Sexual Harassment Evidence

Companies are getting very clever and in this economy they are getting rid of any employee who rocks the boat. What will typically happen is the employee is getting sexually harassed and speaks with management or human resources. The company does not want to rock the boat and really just wants to sweep the whole matter under the rug so they try and minimize what took place. Unless the employee is educated about the facts of a sexual harassment case, chances are they can be tricked by management. It is very important to learn your rights regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. Remember that the company has lawyers and people in place protecting their rights--so should you. Remember sexual harassment could create a hostile work environment for all employees.

There are usually three types of evidence in a sexual harassment case. First there are other employees who would be first hand witnesses. Second would be written evidence such as email. And lastly, voice mails. Most harassers are not stupid enough to say things in front of other employees or leave damning voice messages so email my be your best source of evidence. Even if the harasser does not email you but instead says stuff to you one-on-one you can still capture what was said via email. I suggest memorializing what the harasser said to you in person by resending it to him via email and getting him to respond. The key is to do it in such a way that he responds.

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Posted On: August 13, 2011

Woodman's Settles ADA Lawsuit For $35,000

Woodman’s Food Market’s, Inc. filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. In its lawsuit, the EEOC contended that Woodman’s unlawfully fired employee because of her back condition.
Woodman’s store settled an Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA") lawsuit for $35,000. The lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") after Woodman's terminated Kimberly McMillan-Goodwin, a long-term Woodman’s employee who worked as a clerk at its gas station. The reason for her termination was because she had a back condition that kept her from lifting more than ten pounds. Under the law a company must make a reasonable accommodation for an employee or be in violation of the ADA.

According to details in the lawsuit McMillan-Goodwin had successfully worked in that position with the lifting restriction for many years. The problem was Woodman’s placed McMillan-Goodwin on medical leave and then terminated her. This type of blatant activity will always result in the company paying money for discrimination. I am happy to report that the company will undergo training and the EEOC will make sure the company puts better policies in place in the future. This type of behavior also creates a hostile work environment for all employees because they can see the harmful treatment of a fellow employee.

“This case might never have arisen if Woodman’s had had clear policies and training to guide its management and human resources employees on the requirements of the ADA,” said EEOC Attorney John Hendrickson.

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Posted On: August 12, 2011

Williams Country Sausage Pays $60,000 To Settle Discrimination Lawsuit

Williams Country Sausage ("WCS") pay $60,000 to settle a racial harassment lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). According to published accoutns WCS was paying an African-American maintenance worker less than white counterparts and subjecting him to a hostile work environment. The worker had to work just as hard as the other employees for a lower wage--that isn't right.

WCS gave raises and paid higher salaries to all maintenance department employees except the department’s lone African-American employee and allowed a supervisor to regularly use racially offensive language toward the employee because of racial animus. This type of activity is not right and I am glad the employee stood up and did not take it. WCS should be embarassed by the actions that took place and hopefully this won't happen in the future.

“Sadly, race discrimination continues to exist in the workplace where workers are paid less and forced to endure a racially hostile work environment,” said EEOC attorney Faye A. Williams.

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Posted On: August 11, 2011

MV Transportation Settles Gender Discrimination Lawsuit For $35,000

MV Transportation settled a gender discrimination lawsuit today that was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). According to published accounts two former female bus cleaners alleged that they were treated differently and ultimately terminated due to their gender. The fact that the company settled this case early and for a low amount suggests the facts may not have been the greatest to move forward. In cases like gender discrimination many times comparisions must be done with male workers to show a bias.

In Illinois there is a rise in general on discrimination cases including gender discrimination. The workforce is so tight and scared right now that many employees believe they have to put up with discrimination because they fear for their jobs. It is very important that people still stand up for their rights and don't get pushed around.

“MV Transportation is to be commended for agreeing to substantial injunctive relief and we hope other employers will take similar proactive action,” said EEOC attorney Anna Y. Park.

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Posted On: August 10, 2011

Retaliation Claims On The Rise

In Illinois the number of retaliation lawsuits as a result of discrimination claims is on the rise. The employers in this state seem to be punishing employees who report sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination. The employers may feel that in this tough and tight economy they can do as they please--they can't. Plaintiff's attorneys like myself who handle sexual harassment cases and other forms of discrimination fight hard to protect the rights of employees. Make sure you don't let employers push you around and contact a lawyer to learn your rights.

In Chicago, the numbers seem to be getting even worse. My office is getting so many calls from people who are being treated poorly at work. It is very important to document what is happening to you and to make sure you have as many witnesses or emails as possible. Remember human resources will not help you they are there to help the company.

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Posted On: August 9, 2011

Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington Pays $100,000 To Settle Discrimination Lawsuit

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") settled a discrimination lawsuit with the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington ("JCCGW") for $100,000. According to published accounts JCCGW violated the Americans With Disabilities Act ("ADA") when it demoted and fired an assistant teacher because of her hearing impairment. It is very troubling that a community center would act this way and engage in this type of discrimination against such a vulnerable person. The EEOC held this organization responsible for discrimination and hopefully in the future this type of behavior will not happen again.

The lawsuit alleged Carole Schulman satisfactorily performed her job duties as a nursery school assistant teacher at JCCGW. Schulman was able to fulfill every aspect of her job safely, with no threat to anyone. Schulman was denied an accommodation, demoted to a lower-paying position as a mail room clerk and ultimately removed from the preschool altogether because of her hearing impairment. The settlement amount is a good indication that JCCGW realized it did her wrong.

“We are pleased that the company agreed to resolve the case by providing substantial monetary relief to Ms. Schulman – and agreeing to other terms that will help protect other employees from disability discrimination,” said EEOC Attorney Debra M. Lawrence.

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Posted On: August 8, 2011

Monroe County Pays $100,000 To Settle Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Monroe County will pay former Public Works Department employee Benjamin Moore nearly $100,000 to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit. According to published accounts Moore, an African-American, was passed over for promotions because of his race. Moore first filed his complaint of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") Moore said supervisor Marty Gates regularly used racial slurs toward him and other employees.

In a remarkable turn of events Gates admitted to using the racial slurs. Moore did not let the county get away with this type of behavior and he pursued his claim with the EEOC and forced a settlement. The county tried to allege that Moore had excessive absences and that is why he was fired but obviously paying $100,000 to Moore tells the real story.


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Posted On: August 5, 2011

Rock-Tenn Pays $160,000 To Settle A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Rock-Tenn Company pays $160,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. The sexual harassment lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on behalf of a female worker after she was the victim of sexual harassment. The company really messed this up and look at how much this cost them. I am amazed at how little effort and time companies take in training their employees about sexual harassment.

According to published accounts the company investigated the sexual harassment complaint by the female worker but the harassment continued. One of the women had been forced to resign due to the ongoing harassment which is called a constructive discharge. I am sure in the future the company will take sexual harassment in a more serious fashion.

Pamela B. Dixon, an EEOC trial attorney said, “Even though Rock-Tenn denied that it had violated the law, we are pleased that the parties worked cooperatively to resolve this lawsuit.”

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Posted On: August 4, 2011

Sexual Harassment Lawsuits Increasing In Chicago

My Chicago office is seeing a rise in the number of sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuits throughout the state. Of course one reason is probably the down economy and the lack of money companies want to spend on employee training. By in the long run the extra money spent on proper training will pay for itself because of the large settlement amounts that can be awarded by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") through the settlement process or by the Illinois Human Rights Commission ("IHRC") or by a jury in a federal court proceeding.

Many times employers believe they can let their human resource department sweep the whole thing under the rug and take care of it. This usually does not take care of the matter and if the employee were smart she would contact an employment attorney for advice. My office handles these claims all the time and remember the company is getting legal advice so you should too.

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Posted On: August 2, 2011

Analytic Stress Relieving Inc. Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $75,000

Analytic Stress Relieving Inc. pays $75,000 to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit. The lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). According to published accountsThe EEOC Analytic Stress terminated a female employee in retaliation for her complaints about sexual harassment. Companies continue to amaze me with how stupid they are when handling a sexual harassment complaint. In this case look at the money this cost them. And they lost a good employee.

Ashley Maygar was fired because she complained that an acting supervisor engaged in offensive and unwanted sexually suggestive behavior in the workplace. An employee is protected by law against being fired if she complains about discriminatory conduct--which includes sexual harassment. In this case, the company fired Maygar because she brought up the sexual harassment. It is important for people to realize their rights and to seek out an employment attorney for advice if they believe they have a problem.

“Unfortunately, we see retaliation as an allegation in a very large segment of the charges filed with EEOC. We intend to protect the rights of employees to complain about illegal behavior,” said EEOC attorney Delner Franklin-Thomas.

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Posted On: August 1, 2011

Hostile Work Environments In Illinois

In Illinois a hostile work environment exists for all employees if the atmosphere is so negatively charged that the employee cannot perform his or her work properly because another employee has been subjected tot sexual harassment or another form of discrimination. Many times employees get caught up in a sexual harassment investigation and as a result of the investigation, something negative happens to them. For example, after truthfully telling their version of events, the employee is then targeted by a manager or perhaps fired. This would be a form of retaliation and in Illinois it is a form of discrimination.

I suggest that all employees contact an employment law attorney if they are involved in a sexual harassment investigation and believe they are being targeted by human resources or management. Remember you have a short time period from the date of the harassment or discrimination to file a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") or the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR"). My office handles claims at both locations and I offer a free consultation. Make sure you protect your rights.

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