Updates on Sexual
Updates on Sexual Harassment - Archives
FIRST QUARTER 2001
This section contains
brief updates of recent sexual harassment complaints,
awards, surveys and studies. The information is
gathered from many places
and is intended to give an overview of the most
current events. It is not
meant to provide an exhaustive list of all the
Charges in Student-to-Student Harassment:
The District Attorney's office in Santa Fe, New Mexico filed two battery charges against a 14-yar-old middle school student for slapping two female student on the bottom at school. According to a news release from the District Attorney's office, "The Office supports the Schools' policy of zero tolerance in the schools. Girls, as well as boys, must feel safe in order to learn and progress." Full story in the February Webb Report.
Supreme Court Accepts Case on Monetary Limits:
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case to decide whether victims of on-the-job sexual harassment can win upfront damages that are higher than the cap set by Congress (varying amounts depending on the size of the company which are not applied to harassment other than sexual harassment). The Court said it will review the sexual harassment case of a Tennessee chemical plant worker whose male co-workers allegedly sabotaged her performance and called her barnyard epithets.
Increase In Class Action Suits:
According to Gary Mathiason, attorney with the firm of Littler Mendelson, a San Francisco-based law firm, California and the nation are experiencing an explosion of class action employment litigation.
Mathiason said "Since 1994 we've seen a 25 percent increase with regard to federal and state class actions in the field of employment and labor law." Mathiason was speaking at a class action conference sponsored by Fulcrum Information Services, based in New York.
At Littler Mendelson, "We've seen our defense allocation in just the last two years increase by about 400 percent in terms of the number of class actions that we're called upon to defend," Mathiason said. By 2005, he predicted that "over 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies will have received at least on class action suit." Full story in the January Webb Report.
Japan's Sexual Harassment Problems Continue:
Japan's effort to improve equality in the workplace suffered a blow recently after a government survey revealed that 69 percent of female public servants had suffered some form of sexual harassment.
Japan introduced laws for the first time last year forbidding sexual harassment. However this latest survey indicates that the success has been limited.
The National Personnel Authority, which conducted the survey, pointed out that while the number was high, there had been a sharp decrease in the number of incidents involving touching or stalking. Full story in the January Webb Report.
Family of 9-Year-Old Files Complaint:
The family of a nine-year-old girl filed a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission against their daughter's school district. The complaints says the girl told her parents that two boys pinned her to the group while one of them simulated a sex act.
The attorney for the family said no action was taken when the girl reported the alleged harassment to a supervisor, and that the incident occurred again two days later.
Five boys were suspended from school while the sheriff's department investigated. The District Attorney decided not to press charges because the boys were 8 to 9 years old at the time officials reported.
Same-Sex Harassment Case Rejected:
Tennessee jury in U. S. District Court ruled that three male employees of the Metro Codes Administration were not entitled to any damages from the city or its zoning inspection chief whom they had accused of sexual harassment and retaliation.
The man testified that he is "100% heterosexual" and that a zoning inspector who complained and other employees were overly sensitive to jokes that he made at the office. Attorneys for Metro and the man claimed that while he made have "made inappropriate use of language for the workplace," his behavior did not constitute sexual harassment under the law.
Several attorneys who handle sexual harassment cased told The Tennessean that it is harder to convince a jury that male-to-male sexual remarks create a "hostile work environment" than the same or similar remarks between those of the opposite sex.
© The Employers Association, 1996-
Associated Trademarks and All Rights Are