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Updates on Sexual Harassment

Updates on Sexual Harassment - Archives

  • Lear Seating & UAW Sued Over Harassment: A Janesville, Wisconsin woman filed suit against Lear Seating Corporation and the United Auto Workers union that represented her, alleging that the company allowed sexual harassment in her workplace, then retaliated when she complained. She also said that the union breached its duty to represent her. The woman asked for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages from the company and the union. Full story in the September Webb Report. 9/20/00

  • Appeals Court Grants New Trial: A federal appeals court granted a new trial for Ameritech, which previously had been ordered to pay $650,000 after an Indianapolis jury found against the company three years ago in a sexual harassment case. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago issued the 2-to-1 decision in June. The court said a jury in 1997 should have been able to hear details of Ameritech's collective bargaining agreement and how it affected the company's decision not to fire the accused harasser, a male employee, earlier. The court said that such evidence was potentially significant to Ameritech management's state of mind and to the reasonableness of the company's actions. 8/25/00

  • Eight Circuit Cites Employer's "Indifference" to Victim: The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ruled that the jury's award of $60,000 in compensatory damages, $15,000 in lost wages, and $100,000 in punitive damages for the sexual harassment of a production line worker was justified in part by the employer's "deliberate indifference" and its threats to the victim who said she reported the harassment over 40 times. The court also awarded $28,845 in attorneys' fees. Full story in the August Webb Report . 8/21/00

  • Nextel Sued for Race and Sex Discrimination: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has received numerous race and sex discrimination charges from more than 300 current and former employees of the telecommunications firm. The first 25 charges were filed in late June and were followed by 25 more changes that week. According the plaintiff's attorney, Jeffrey K. Brown, of Leeds, Morelli & Brown in Carle Place, New York, 50 more charges per week will be filed until they have all been made. Brown said the charges will be filed in at least 10 different states where Nextel, which is based in Reston, Virginia, conducts business. The first group of charges with the EEOC was filed in Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey and Tennessee. 8/14/00

  • EEOC Settles Case for Half Million Dollars: The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced a $500,000 settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit against Burt Chevrolet and LGC Management, one of Colorado's top auto chains, on behalf of 10 former salesmen who alleged persistent same-sex harassment by male managers. Full story in the September Webb Report. 8/11/00

  • European Union Harassment Plans Challenged: European Union plans to make sexual harassment in the workplace illegal came under fire recently from employers. Unice, a group representing private-sector organizations, agreed that harassment should be addressed but argued that it should not be treated as sexual discrimination as proposed by the European Commission. 8/9/00

  • Lawyer Details Schoolgirl's Complaint: The West Bath, Maine School Committte refused to disclose specifics about the suspension of five third-grade boys accused of sexual harassment. However, the attorney for the parents of one alleged victim said the girl complained that two boys twice pinned her to the ground while another boy simulated intercourse. The nine-year-old girl complained to an adult playground supervisor on each occasion, May 2 and 4, and was told simply to "stay away from the boys," her attorney said. Full story in the July Webb Report. 7/31/00

  • Hi-Health Loses Sex-Bias Trial: A federal jury in Arizona awarded $1.1 million to a former employee of Hi-Health for gender discrimination and sexual harassment. The plaintiff was awarded $100,000 in compensatory damaged and $1 million in punitive damages. She and other witnesses testified that the owner of Hi-Health Supermart treated women employees in a belittling and demeaning way. The defendant owns 41 health good stores in Maricopa County, Arizona. 7/24/00

  • Nissan Employees File Suit for Racial & Sexual Harassment: Five Nissan employees filed a lawsuit last month alleging that their employers at a parts distribution warehouse in Costa Mesa, California ignored their complaints of racial and sexual harassment and in some cases, retaliated against them for complaining. The suit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against Nissan North America Inc., and alleged that a number of incidents took place in which the employees--one Latino, one African American, two of Indian ethnicity and one from Jordon--were subjected to racial slurs, hate notes and other acts of intimidation. A spokesman for Nissan said it was premature to comment on the allegations. Full Story in the July Webb Report. 7/19/00

  • Firefighter's Lawsuit Settled: The city of Elmira, NY agreed to pay $85,000 to its only female firefighter to settle a lawsuit alleging that the fire chief and other officers harassed and discriminated against her. The woman sued for $1.5 million. The settlement also requires that city employees take annual sexual harassment training, beginning with the fire department. The fire chief denied any wrongdoing or lack of enforcement of the city's sexual harassment policy. 7/17/00

  • City Settles Harassment Suit: The city of Belen, New Mexico and the U.S. Department of Justice settled a lawsuit that alleged the city violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act by maintaining a pattern of sexual harassment against women in its police department. The Justice Department said that a judge approved th e settlement and that the city has paid about $560,000 to the three women involved in the suit. The police department will remain under federal scrutiny for the next three years. 7/14/00

  • Woman Wins $682,000 in Harassment Suit: A 34-year-old woman was awarded more than $682,000 in a sexual harassment lawsuit against her former employer and her supervisor, who has since left the business. The woman, who worked at Clifford Electronics in California as a marketing executive, sued the company and its former president after he allegedly invited her to his hotel room during a 1999 business trip to Las Began. On two occasions, she said, he asked if she wanted to "take a bath" with him. After the trip, the woman said, she complained to the company's human resources department, but no action was taken. Three weeks later, she was fired. A Los Angeles Superior Court jury found in the woman's favor and compensated her for lost wages and emotional distress. The jury deadlocked on punitive damages. 7/13/00

  • Continental Case Continues: The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that critical and insulting notices on a work-related electronic bulletin board may constitute sexual harassment in the workplace. The decision will allow Continental Airlines first female pilot to proceed with her suit under the state's discrimination law, based on the e-mails that were sent by fellow pilots. The state supreme court said that the electronic bulletin board should be regarded as "part of the workplace" and that the postings could have constituted a hostile work environment under the state's law. 7/10/00

  • 'Seinfeld' Case Just Won't Die: The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear argument in the ex-Miller Brewing Company employee, Harold Mackenzie's attempt to reinstate his $24.7 million damage award. The award was the largest every issued in the state. The Mackenzie case drew attention for its connection to the "Seinfeld" television show episode, its reference to a female body part and the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. The case later grew into one involving whether or not employers must tell the truth to employees about their job status. Full story in the July Webb Report. 7/6/00

  • Activities Off-Work Are On-Limits in Lawsuits: According to a management attorney, courts are allowing details of managers' off-work behavior to be admitted as evidence in workplace related lawsuits. However, employers are being given the option to investigate and act on employees' after-hours conduct as long as a legitimate business concern exists. "Employers' misconception is that nothing is any of their business unless it occurs at work," the attorney said. 7/3/00

    The information above is excerpted or summarized from numerous sources not written or originally researched by Pacific Resource. We cannot guarantee the acccurateness of the information.

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