Articles Posted in Constructive Discharge

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Can I Quit After Being The Victim Of Sexual Harassment?

by Peter M. LaSorsa

So you are minding your own business at work and doing a good job. The boss has been hounding you to go out with him. You keep rejecting his advances and now you have had enough. You report this conduct to human resources and file a sexual harassment complaint. It doesn’t look like much has happened since you reported the conduct and the boss seems very mad at you. Life at work is now very uncomfortable. What if anything can you do?

You could quit your job and file an additional complaint for constructive discharge. That is a legal term that means things are getting so bad at work that any reasonable person would quit. The quitting is deemed the same as a firing. You should immediately file for unemployment benefits and contact an employment lawyer to make sure all of your rights are protected. You don’t have to put up with this type of behavior at work.

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What Is A Constructive Discharge In Chicago?

by Peter M. LaSorsa

So you are working in downtown Chicago and the boss is being very nasty toward you. He wants to engage in a sexual relationship and bugs you about it every day. You are tired of feeling the pressure and no longer want to come into work and deal with it. What can you do? Well, under this scenario, you can file a sexual harassment complaint and if you decide to quit, it would be called a constructive discharge. A constructive discharge is treated like a firing for legal purposes.

An employment lawyer who works in Chicago can better advise you on what steps to take to protect your rights. There are very strict time limits involved in filing a claim. Never try to go it alone as the company will have lawyers protecting their interests. Always try to be professional and not give the company a reason for fire or discipline you. But remember, you have a right to be free from discrimination while you work in Chicago.

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Davis Typewriter Company Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $11,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Davis Typewriter Company pays $11,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. The money was paid to compensate a female employee for emotional-distress. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) on behalf of the female employee. According to published accounts a company operations manager used the company’s security camera system to stream footage of a former employee’s breasts and body onto his office computer. Talk about a creepy individual. You have to wonder what kind of training went on in this office.

When the employee learned of her manager’s surreptitious surveillance and notified another manager and Davis Typewriter’s owner, the company failed to take sufficient steps to correct such behavior or prevent it from occurring again in the future. As a result the female quit her job which is called a constructive discharge.

“Unfortunately, sexual harassment continues to be a prevalent workplace problem.” said EEOC attorney John Hendrickson

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Ricardo’s Restaurant Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $20,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Ricardo’s Restaurant, Inc. pays $20,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) on behalf of Dorothy Hannah. The sexual harassment complaint stated that Hannah was subjected to sexually offensive comments from the co-owner of the restaurant. Because the co-owner was doing the sexual harassment there is strict liability on the company. If the owner were not doing the harassment, the person would first have to come forward and ask for the harassment to stop before any liability would attach.

According to published accounts, the co-owner continued engaging in this unlawful conduct despite Hannah’s complaints about the misconduct. He would not stop the harassment, and thought her complaints about it were funny. The severe and pervasive harassment was so intolerable, that Hannah was compelled to quit, which is called a constructive discharge. Even though this doesn’t seem like much money, given her status in the restaurant, the amount is still a nice going away present. Make sure you take action if you are being victimized at work.

“The requirements of this settlement were carefully designed to protect all employees at the restaurant from harassment or retaliation.” said EEOC Attorney Debra M. Lawrence

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Roy Farms Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $85,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Roy Farms pays $85,000 to four workers to settle a same-sex, sexual harassment lawsuit. This unusual lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) on behalf of the four men. According to published accounts for nearly two years, male workers at Roy Farms faced a constant barrage of sexual and threatening comments and physical contact from the orchard supervisor. Under the law if the supervisor is doing the sexual harassment there is strict liability on the company.

To show even further evidence of harassment, the supervisor would tell workers in vulgar terms that he wanted to have sex with them. The supervisor even touched them in sexual ways. One of the works quit rather than get subjected to the sexual advances. This is called a constructive discharge. It is obvious the supervisor was not properly trained and no one was watching what he was doing at work. He seemed to think that the workers were there for his enjoyment.

“There is a persistent misconception that sexual harassment involves only male-on-female conduct, but sexual harassment is illegal regardless of the sex of the victim or the harass.,” said EEOC Attorney William R. Tamayo

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Sexual Harassment Victim Receives $250,000 Settlement

by Peter M. LaSorsa

A former employee who filed a federal lawsuit alleging a supervisor routinely sexually harassed her, settled her lawsuit for $250,000. According to published accounts Patricia McIver received the money after agreeing to drop her sexual harassment lawsuit against the county. The settlement also came with a confidentiality agreement that prevents her from discussing details of the case. The allegations were that Dennis Bergevin harassed her for years. She quit after putting up with this behavior for a long period of time. When a person quits like that because of discrimination, it is called a constructive discharge.

The lawsuit also alleged that McIver was subjected to a hostile work environment and also quid pro quo request for sexual favors. Quid pro quo is Latin for this for that. It means that a person is demanding sex in exchange for the person keeping their job or some other favor. Additionally, McIver was subjected to other verbal and physical conduct by Bergevin. McIver was told if she resisted the sexual harassment she could be fired. I think the settlement amount speaks volumes about who was telling the truth in this matter.

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Does Sexual Talk Create A Hostile Work Environment At Work In Chicago?

by Peter M. LaSorsa

So you are at work in downtown Chicago and the boss is always talking about sex. It is really annoying and you are tired of it. But now the sex talk seems directed at you and it feels like a hostile work environment for you. You hate to come into work because you know what will happen when the boss is around. You look forward to the times when the boss it out of the office so you can get some peace and quite. The sex talk keeps increasing and you don’t know what you should or can do about it? It is getting to the point where you are even thinking about quitting.

Well first if the sexual talk rises to the level of sexual harassment under the Illinois Human RIghts Act (“Act“), you can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (“IDHR“). There are two types of sexual harassment, quid quo pro, which is Latin for this for that. The second type is the creation of a hostile work environment. If the work place gets too hostile and you quit that is called a constructive discharge. So there are many different issues at play and an experienced lawyer who handles employment issues can help you sort through them all.

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Pacific Airport Services, Inc. Settles Sexual Harassment Lawsuit For $65,000

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Pacific Airport Services, Inc. pays $65,000 to settle a multi-count lawsuit involving sexual harassment and constructive discharge. The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“) after initial settlement discussions failed. Before we begin with an analysis of the facts, lets discuss a few terms. Under the law a constructive discharge occurs when an employee is subjected to discrimination and conditions at work get so bad that any reasonable person would quit the job. The quitting is treated as a firing based on the discriminatory conduct. The second term to discuss is sexual harassment. Under the law, sexual harassment is any unwanted attempt at a sexual relationship or sexual comments that create a hostile work environment. Also, if the sexual comments are directed at another employee but you hear them, they could create a form of discrimination for you too. And if a supervisor is having a sexual relationship with another employee this could cause you to be subjected to sexual harassment as you could be denied promotional or other opportunities because you are not having sex with the boss.

According to published accounts a number of customer service agents were sexually harassed by their male supervisor while working for Pacific Airport Services. Under the law if a supervisor is doing the sexual harassment there is immediate liability on the company. Another words, you don’t first have to complain to human resources or report the conduct before liability attaches. The supervisor continuously subjected the women to sexual comments and advances, asking the women to perform sexual acts. This is probably the most troubling type of sexual harassment. Women should be allowed to go to work and do their job without being subjected to this type of behavior. In at least one instance, the supervisor allegedly requested oral sex from one of the customer service agents. One has to wonder what type of training these members of management had prior to being allowed to supervise other employees? Companies would be wise to spend time and money up front training management on what is proper behavior in the workplace. In this case the supervisor also grabbed the women, fondled their buttocks and placed his pelvic area in front of a female employee’s face. So that was the basis for the sexual harassment claim.

On the constructive discharge claim the following occurred. The females complained to management about the sexual harassment but the supervisor was not adequately disciplined since he maintained his supervisorial authority even after the conduct was reported. To make matters worse, at least one of the women was forced to resign as a result of continued hostility on the part of her supervisor. That is the constructive discharge. When things get so bad that the female could no longer come into work, she had no other recourse. The company should not have left the supervisor in place after this conduct was reported. You can see how much money this cost the company in settlement funds but also in legal fees and they lost a good employee. My Chicago offices gets many calls from women that are in similar circumstances. It is very important that these women come forward and protect their rights. Negative job reviews or getting fired for reporting sexual harassment can have a negative impact of your future career prospects. You may lose income in the hundreds of thousands of dollars down the road for something that is taking place right now. Make sure you protect your rights and take action now.

“Employers are responsible for maintaining a harassment-free environment for their employees. Those who have a well-distributed policy against sexual harassment, train employees on the policy and employ staff who are able to effectively investigate complaints will go a long way toward preventing such abuses on the job.” said EEOC attorney Timothy Riera

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National Food Corporation Pays $650,000 To Settle A Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

by Peter M. LaSorsa

National Food Corporation pays $650,000 to five workers to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. The multi-plaintiff sexual harassment lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). According to court documents the company repeatedly demanded sexual favors from a female laborer, who worked alone in a henhouse, in order to keep her job. The supervisor took advantage of the fact that she worked by herself and it was isolated. The supervisor also demanded sex from her on a weekly basis, from 2003 to 2010. That is a long period of time to be subjected to sexual harassment.

When her co-workers raised complaints about sexual harassment to company management, they were fired or forced out of their jobs. If you are fired for complaining about sexual harassment, it is referred to as retaliation. If things get so bad for you after reporting sexual harassment that you have to quit your job, it is called a constructive discharge. The company should have listened to the workers, investigated the sexual harassment complaints and fired the supervisor. Look how much money this cost them and the negative publicity directed toward them.

“For almost seven years, I tried to just survive these demands from my boss, because I needed to support my mother and my daughter,” said the worker.

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Joe-Ryan Enterprises Inc. Pays $15,000 To Settle Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

by Peter M. LaSorsa

Joe-Ryan Enterprises, Inc. pays $15,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. The sexual harassment lawsuit was first filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC“). According to allegations, a female office clerk was subjected to a sexually hostile work environment including vulgar, insulting and derogatory comments about women and sexually explicit pictures in the workplace.

Rhonda Brown was the employee who was the female that was subjected to the hostile work environment and was the only female employee who regularly worked in the company’s small office. The hostile work environment became so intolerable Brown was forced to resign which is considered constructive discharge under the law.

“We are pleased this settlement is targeted to improve the work environment for all employees in this workforce. It should help ensure no worker feels victimized because of gender.” said EEOC attorney Gerald Miller