Posts Tagged ‘Sexual Discrimination’
Miami, FL- Sexual harassment and discrimination are toxic to a workplace it effects employee morale and can create long-term emotional issues for the victim. This inappropriate behavior is also comes at a great cost to employer especially if they are subjected to a lawsuit. Even though on any given day you can read about new harassment allegations, lawsuits and settlements, men and women report harassment much less than people think.
Many people would like to believe that they wouldn’t put up with any type of harassment at work, but the reality is that many incidents go unreported.
According to NBC/Washington Post survey from 2011 found that six out of ten women admitted to being subjected to some form of sexual harassment whether it is inappropriate comments, unwanted touching, or leering at least once in their working lives, yet the EEOC only receives on average 30,000 complaints of sexual harassment each year.
This means that many people are just letting the harassment pass instead of reporting the offender. A study conducted last year by a Maya Risman law firm of New York wanted to find out why people refuse to report harassment.
According to the ABC/Washington Post survey, 29 percent of the respondents felt the harassment was too insignificant to report. No incident of harassment is too insignificant to report to supervisors, but if the victim is seeking monetary damages, they must prove the harassment was repeated and prevalent.
The Risman firm study found that after surveying 9,000 professional women that although 92 percent of the respondents had been subjected to sexual harassment many of the victims were are afraid to report sexual harassment because they know or knew someone who has been fired or forced to quit after reporting an incident, so many of these victims don’t report because they cannot afford to lose their jobs. Although sexual harassment complaints by men have grown, male employees often refuse to report harassment, only 16 percent of the complaints the EEOC receives come from men.
Seventy five of Risman’s respondents admitted they would report harassment because they believe nothing would be done to stop the harassment. This is also true since the majority harassment cases allege that an employer failed to protect their employees from the harassing behavior and create a hostile work environment.
“A victim may minimize what’s happening to them, they may have very legitimate concerns about losing their job, perhaps they feel what’s the use of reporting it because ever other woman here is having the same experience,” said Jennifer Marsh of the Rape, Abuse and Iincest Network.
Employees do often encounter speculation when they report sexual harassment. Employers sometimes think allegations are frivolous and think that the complainant is incapable or taking a joke or are too sensitive.
Employers make a huge mistake in not following up on sexual harassment allegations by conducting an investigation and disciplining the harasser. Not only do they subject their employees to an antagonistic work environment, but they also face civil lawsuits which can become very costly.
New York, NY- the NFL has long-standing anti-discrimination policies already in place, but they have agreed to additional actions to ensure openly gay players are not subjected to harassment based on their sexual orientation.
The NFL and New York’s attorney general Eric Schneiderman have been in negotiations to make the athletic league “more inclusive” for gay players. According to CBS sports, the NHL has taken similar steps to protect gay players, but it has not been done in football before
Talks between Schneiderman and the NFL began shortly after players were asked questions about their sexual orientation in the scouting combine. Some prospective players were asked if they liked girls, or if they had a girlfriend. Any employer whether it is the NFL or a fast-food restaurant is prohibited from asking about an applicant’s sexual orientation under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
After the controversy, the NFL said they found no specific violations, but agreed to improve upon their existing policies to avoid these incidents in the future.
Shneiderman’s office began working with the NFL in attempt to change the environment and to make certain players and recruits are faced with these types of questions in the future.
“We reviewed our long-standing anti-discrimination policy with our teams at our league meeting in March,” said NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, according to CBS sports. “We more recently met with the New York Attorney General’s office to reiterate that policy and our plans to reinforce it to our players, teams and staff in the near future.”
The NFL will take steps to prevent sexual harassment and discrimination by placing posters in locker rooms which clearly state their anti-discrimination policies. The league also promised to thoroughly investigate complaints of harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation, and keep the identities of complainants confidential. Their policies will also be included in employee handbooks and will be covered in their new recruit symposium.
The NFL will also regularly report to Schneiderman’s office to review their progress in enforcing the anti-discrimination policy.
“My office is committed to ensuring equal protection under the law for all employees and job applicants no matter where they work,” Schneiderman said, “and I applaud the NFL for working cooperatively with our office to address these issues. Together we are sending a powerful message that discrimination and harassment will not be tolerated in any form.”
Even though it against federal law to discriminate against an employee because of their gender or sexual orientation, it happens to an alarming degree. Last year the EEOC received over 30,000 complaints of sexual discrimination—sexual harassment is considered a form of sex discrimination. And those were just the official complaints.
Many men and women are sexually harassed or discriminated against are afraid to report the incidents because they believe they will face retaliation for raising these issues. Over fifty percent of women admit that they have been sexually harassed at least once in their working lives or on a college campus.
Miami, FL-In late January, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released their 2012 fiscal year report showing that the office received close 100,000 complaints of job discrimination throughout the year.
The EEOC fiscal year runs from October 1st to September 30th, during that time the agency received 37,836 complaints of retaliation, 33,512 allegations or racial discrimination and 30,056 sexual discrimination complaints from employees in the private sector, according to the EEOC report.
Of the sexual discrimination complaints the majority were allegations of sexual harassment in the workplace, although pregnancy also made up a large number of those complaints.
While there is still a great deal of workplace discrimination complaints, there was actually a 10 percent decrease in their pending complaints over 2011, the first decrease since 2002.
Even though complaints decreased, the EEOC recovered $365.4 million in claims from private industry along with state and local governments, an increase on administrative judgments over previous years. An additional $36.2 million was recovered for victims of workplace discrimination through conciliation and settlements. EEOC attorneys recovered $44.2 million through lawsuits.
These figures however only represent judgments and settlements received through EECO litigation. In many cases of sexual harassment and other workplace discrimination are settled by employment attorneys in the private sector, because they are able to win larger monetary settlements.
Although the EEOC received a large number of sexual harassment complaints, a large number men and women fail to report this misconduct. According to Cornell Law Review article entitled “Exacerbating the Exasperated: Title VII Liability of Employers for Sexual Harassment,” between 40 to 90 percent of women admit to encountering sexual harassment in their working lives. That is an alarming statistic and shows that many women simply ignore the behavior instead of reporting it; if they did the EEOC would have many more cases on their books. Men are also frequently harassed, though to a lesser degree than women, which they refuse to report.
If the problem is so prevalent, why do so many refuse to report it or ignore the behavior altogether? While there are numerous reasons not to report sexual harassment, the primary reason is that they fear for their jobs. Just as harassment is common, so is retaliation. And, too often the
The majority of harassers are the employees’ direct supervisors. The harassment victim fears that if they report the behavior, they will face a number of retaliations; they could be fired, denied raises or promotions, or be denied vacation and days off requests. They could also be subjected to other harassing behaviors that create a hostile working environment.
Another reason sexual harassment victims fail to report the misconduct is because they don’t believe their employer will take the allegations seriously or appropriately punish their harasser. These are reasonable fears since many feel employees may be too sensitive to inappropriate comments or touching, and the harassers often play down their actions by saying they were just joking or having fun. In some instances a verbal reprimand is enough to stop sexual harassment, but for some offenders this simply isn’t enough and they continue to harass.
New York, NY- A Manhattan steakhouse has agreed to pay $600,000 to settle allegations that a male manager sexually harassed close to two dozen male waiters, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The lawsuit against Sparks Steak House stated that over an eight-year period a male manager repeatedly grabbed the buttocks of 22 men on the wait staff, along with making unwanted sexual comments. The manager also attempted to touch some the men’s genitals.
Even though many of the men approached the restaurant’s manager about the abusive behavior, the EEOC alleged that no one took steps to end the harassment.
In addition to paying the men $600,000, Sparks Steak House is also required to institute a sexual harassment and anti-discrimination training program and must establish a hotline for employees.
Over the past few years, the EEOC has seen a decline in the overall reports of sexual harassment, but reports of male-on-male harassment have increased by 16 percent.
The decrease of reports would indicate that sexual harassment is no longer a major issue in the workplace, but this may not be the case since many women ignore the misconduct for fear they will not be taken seriously or will be fired. This also applies to men.
No one, male or female, should have to tolerate this abuse, but when their superiors refuse to take action, the victims must turn to a New York sexual harassment lawyer to put a stop to the unwanted behavior. With the help of a skilled attorney those who have faced discrimination, harassment and retaliation can pursue a financial settlement for lost wages and emotional distress.
Washington, D.C. – Is sexual harassment and discrimination widespread on Capitol Hill? A new report released by the Office of Compliance would suggest that the problem is widespread and has steadily increased over the past five years.
According to the report, in 2006 there were just 64 complaints of sexual harassment and discrimination. But for 2011, those complaints have almost tripled to 196 complaints, with 101 of those cases directly related to race discrimination. Forty-three of those complaints were related to sexual harassment or gender discrimination.
The OoC investigates the claims and are responsible for setting up legal counseling, the first step in the resolution process, along with mediation. But last year 23 of those cases were resolved through settlements costing the taxpayers $461,366.
Over the past five years members of the House has had 43 employees request counseling while the Senate has only had seven requests.
So why is there such a pervasive problem? Tamera Chrisler, the executive director of the OoC, says that budget cuts for workplace discrimination and harassment have led to a rise of complaints and settlements.
“Lack of funding has forced the OoC to eliminate effective education and training programs that might have otherwise prevented discrimination and harassment cases,”Chrisler said.
If discrimination or sexual harassment is prevalent in a workplace, employers have a responsibility to address the abuse and take steps to stop it. However, complaints are often dismissed or ignored. The victims of a hostile work environment deserve some sense of justice and this is possible when they retain a sexual harassment attorney to be their advocate.
Two More Sexual Harassment Suits Filed against Louisville Public Works Director, Did the City Ignore the Behavior?October 9th, 2012 Posted in Sexual Harassment News
Louisville, KY- Two more women have filed a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit against Public Works Director, Ted Pullen, bringing the number of accusers to four. Did the city allow this behavior to continue?
The two lawsuits make serious allegations against Pullen, and also states the city human resources manager did nothing about the women’s complaints.
The lawsuit details a number of discriminatory practices and incidents of sexually harassing behavior. One of the women, Rebecca Thibodeaux, says that Pullen “grabbed her… and kissed her against her will” in an empty office in 2010.
Another lawsuit, filed on behalf of Betty Younis stated that she was passed up for a promotion in favor of man, which cost her a pay raise. Younis complained directly to Pullen about the discrimination, but that only caused him to threaten her with poor performance reviews.
The lawsuit also claims that Pullen would insult the intelligence of the women working in the department and favored promoting white employees over African Americans despite their qualifications.
Two other women had previously file lawsuit against Pullen forcing him to resign in August of this year.
A Human Resources investigation determined that the allegations of the four women were true and concluded the city knew of Pullen’s behavior but failed to address it.
When a man or woman takes the proper steps to deal with workplace injustices such as discrimination and harassment and their complaints are ignored or dismissed they have to turn to someone for help. In these situations a sexual harassment attorney will be their advocates and hold their employers accountable for ignoring a pervasive problem.
Menlo Park, CA- Kleiner Perkins, who is embroiled in a highly-publicized sexual harassment lawsuit with Ellen Pao, notified her Monday that she needed to clean out her office. But with the venture capital firm still tied up in litigation with Pao, was it wise for them to let her go?
Her lawyer, Alan Exelrod, doesn’t think so, who said they would sue the Kleiner Perkins for wrongful termination.
Pao filed a sexual harassment and gender discrimination suit against the venture capital company after she had an affair with a colleague who began to sexually harassed her once their affair ended. The alleged harassment went on for five years and despite reporting the behavior, Kleiner Perkins failed to address the issue.
In addition to sexual harassment allegations, Pao alleges that the company passed her up for board seats, and promotions based on her gender, which caused her to lose income.
The firm, not surprisingly, denies the allegations.
It’s unusual for a company to fire an employee in the middle of the lawsuit because they make themselves vulnerable to further litigation, In this case, a sexual harassment attorney can assert that a dismissal is retaliation.
Gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation are in direct violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and companies that engage in this behavior or fail to prevent their employees from engaging in this misconduct could be forced to compensate any employee who has been abused.
Holly, MI- The former police chief for Holly, Elena Danishevskaya, claims she left her job because of sexual harassment and discrimination she suffered at the hands of two village officials.
Danishevskaya alleges that village councilman Thomas Clark subjected her to a hostile work environment by sending her crude videos of a semi-nude woman shooting a gun and other obscene acts. She also accuses Clark of inappropriate touching. In total her complaint contained 21 allegations against Clark.
Clark, naturally, denies all or the allegations noting he is a happily married man.
The former chief filed her complaint in March and after a lengthy investigation, Clark was suspended.
Danishevskaya also accused the village manager, Jerry Walker, of discrimination, alleging he did not treat her fairly and made it clear that he wanted her job.
She eventually resigned but her attorney said, “She goes from the one asking her complaints be investigated to being thrown of the job. This is a clear case of retaliation.”
Retaliation and sexual harassment tend to go hand in hand as employers often take steps to punish the complainant instead of the perpetrator. Harassment is often about power and a large majority of harassers use their position to abuse subordinate employees.
A sexual harassment attorney can give the harassed employee the strength to stand up and stop their abuse. A strong suit can also make certain the harassment and discrimination victim receives the compensation they deserve.
The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency should a the model for excellence. With its campaigns to target illegal immigrants, one would think they employ the highest standards when it comes to their own employees if they are going to go after innocent people just because of their lack of a piece of paper.
One would in fact hope that ICE agents were trustworthy and moral, but it seems as though the agency is flawed.
A scandal has broken out at ICE after the chief of staff resigned following allegations of sexual harassment.
While she claims the allegations are false, Suzanne Barr did not hesitate to step down from her position after people came forward with sexual harassment claims.
Three people have accused Barr of sexual harassment against male employees. One of which is James T. Hayes Jr., a senior ICE agent, who filed a sexual discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against Barr last May.
Hayes is seeking $4 million in damage, claiming Barr created a hostile work environment akin to that of a “frat house.”
Barr says the claims are all untrue and were designed to ruin her reputation.
Maybe next time ICE agents won’t be so keen on arresting illegal immigrants and will dedicate more time to screening their employees so workplace harassment does not occur again.
Sexual harassment is a serious crime that involves unwanted comments or physical actions that are sexual in nature. Incidents can include mild sexual jokes to violent attacks. But regardless of the individual situation, victims have a right to seek help. If you or someone you know has suffered at the hands of a sexual offender, turn to a leading sexual harassment lawyer right away to ensure the perpetrator is stopped and so you can obtain compensation for your pain and suffering.