Category Archives: Sexual Harassment

Subscribe to Sexual Harassment RSS Feed

The More You Know…Or Others Think You Know: Fifth Circuit Finds Decision-maker Had Knowledge to Constitute Retaliation

The Fifth Circuit has issued another opinion in the continuing saga of Jackson State University and its past athletic director, Dr. Vivian Fuller—this one about retaliation against a witness. To refresh everyone’s memory: A secretary at JSU filed an EEOC charge claiming that AD Fuller sexually harassed her and then fired her. During its investigation, JSU’s … Continue Reading

Happy Thanksgiving and the Many Things for Which We Are Thankful

Before everyone gets out of the office to their various homes and families to celebrate the holiday, we wanted to review the year and count our blessings. Not only are we thankful that our families and colleagues in our Houston and Tampa offices weathered the storms safely, we are also thankful for the following legal … Continue Reading

Why the Harvey Weinstein Scandal Should Scare the Pants Off Employers

Unless you have been living in a cave for the last month, you have heard about the sexual misconduct allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The story has all of the makings of a Hollywood blockbuster, except this time it’s not a movie. Here’s why it should also raise the curtain for employers outside of … Continue Reading

6 of One, Half a Dozen of the Other: 10th Circuit Rules Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Work Environment Harassment Theories Aren’t So Different After All

Quid pro quo and hostile environment sex harassment claims—two totally different claims—right? Or are they? While employers draw strict distinctions between these types of sex harassment, courts may not go along, as demonstrated in a recent 10th Circuit case, Jones v. Needham Trucking LLC et al. Types of Sex Harassment Claims. Traditionally, two Title VII … Continue Reading

Guess Who You Should Never Invite to Dinner? What We Can Learn From Sexual Harassment Claims in the News

Sexual harassment—we have policies against it, we train people on how to prevent and report it, and yet still we have big news stories about it. In the last year, Fox News hit the headlines on this front multiple times–not only did the Chairman and CEO leave following a sexual harassment lawsuit, but now Bill … Continue Reading

Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation is Sex Discrimination Under Title VII: Seventh Circuit Takes Clear Stand

On Tuesday, the Seventh Circuit jumped into the Title VII sexual orientation discussion with both feet. In Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, a full-court reversed an earlier three judge panel decision, finding that discrimination based solely upon the employee’s sexual orientation is sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII. As the opinion recognizes, this finding … Continue Reading

Muscle Beach Party and Theories of Sex Discrimination: Second Circuit Tries To Clarify Sexual Orientation vs. Gender-Stereotyping

Is there a difference between being discriminated against because of your sexual orientation versus being discriminated against for not conforming to a gender stereotype? In most areas of the country, there most certainly is according to the Second Circuit in Christiansen v. Omnicom Group, Inc., et al. Matthew Christiansen, an openly gay man and creative director at … Continue Reading

Hug It Out at Work? Maybe Not in the Ninth Circuit

When does workplace hugging go too far? The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently weighed in with an opinion. Victoria Zetwick, a county correctional officer, based her Title VII hostile work environment suit almost entirely upon her supervisor’s practice of hugging her and the rest of the female staff. Just How Much Hugging? By her count, … Continue Reading

HR to the Rescue: Prompt Investigation Beats EEOC’s Sex Harassment Claim

Don’t listen to all the doubters – HR truly can save the day. A recent federal court decision from the Western District of Tennessee illustrates the point again: prompt and appropriate investigation of a sexual harassment complaint can prevent employer liability. In Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Autozone, Inc. and Autozoners, LLC (collectively, “Autozone”), the … Continue Reading

The Full Monty is Still Full-on Sexual Harassment—The Tenth Circuit Gets It Right

From the “You’d Think This Would Be Obvious” file in August, the Tenth Circuit reversed a district court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of an employer in a case in which a male employee allegedly exposed his genitals to several co-workers on multiple occasions. The plaintiff, Ms. Yvonne Macias, worked at the Southwest Cheese … Continue Reading

Think Fast: HR’s Prompt Investigation Key Factor in Sexual Harassment Case Win for Employer

A recent ruling from a Tennessee appeals court reinforces that a prompt and reasonable investigation can help save an employer from liability in response to sexual harassment charges. In a July 30, 2015 opinion, the Tennessee Court of Appeals affirmed the grant of summary judgment to an employer in Patricia Bazemore’s sexual harassment, hostile work … Continue Reading

Give Them a Pinch, and They’ll Take a Mile: Eighth Circuit Affirms Employer’s Summary Judgment in Male on Male Sexual Harassment Suit

On December 2, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment on behalf of Swedish Match North America, Inc. in a case in which its former male salesperson, Donald Rickard, claimed he suffered age and sex discrimination from his male supervisor (who was one year younger than Rickard). Rickard had an “antagonistic” relationship with … Continue Reading

Former JSU Women’s Basketball Coach Receives Additional Award in Wrongful Termination Suit

In August, a judge awarded former Jackson State University (JSU) head coach, Denise Taylor, $200,000 in damages for “emotional pain and suffering” she endured during her employment. Taylor was the head women’s basketball coach at JSU for 10 seasons before she was fired in 2011. She filed the lawsuit against the university on January 24, … Continue Reading
LexBlog