Thursday, December 3, 2015

Harassment vs. Discrimination vs. Obnoxious Behavior

by Kristi D. Rothschild, Esq.

What Is Harassment?

"[H]arassment consists of conduct outside the scope of necessary job performance, conduct presumably engaged in for personal gratification, because of meanness or bigotry, or for other personal motives."

Roby v. McKesson (2010) 47 Cal.4th 686, 707, citing Reno v. Baird (1998) 18 Cal.4th 640, 645-647.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Sexual Harassment: It has to STOP

by Rod Stephens, Esq.

My practice involves representing employees and management. I see how sexual harassment is perceived by the employer and the employee. This week I want to share some observations about the sexual harassment in the workplace. Before I start, a couple of disclaimers. First, I make reference to women as being victims of sexual harassment. Yes, I know men can also be victims of sexual harassment but the sad truth is that women are more frequently the targets of sexual harassment. Second, this post may turn into a little bit of a rant. With that said, let's start.

The reality is that one in four women experience some form of sexual harassment. According to Fatima Goss Graves of the National Women's Law Center, "Whether suffering harassment from supervisors, co-workers or third parties, most victims of harassment are still suffering in silence."

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Monday, September 22, 2014

Six Surprising Ways Smartphones Can Get Your Business in Hot Water

by Jeff Calabrese, Esq.

From the C-suite to the mailroom, smartphones have become a ubiquitous part of our work life. Smartphones (and other mobile devices) are actually fully networked computers with portals to your company's servers and data, as well as employees' personal activity. The benefits of these veritable Swiss Army knives of technology are obvious. But there are other, less-appreciated employment risks that businesses should consider.

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Best Practices for Employers to Limit Liability/Exposure

by Jacqueline M. Sexton, Esq.

Consistency is Key

Employers should implement uniform and consistent policies and practices.

When considering whether or not to discipline an employee, the employer should be mindful of its written policies regarding discipline and review the handling of prior similar issues to ensure that the employer is being consistent or, if not, that the circumstances (not an employee's protected class status) justify a different result.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Six Steps to Reduce Your Legal Risks in Workplace Harassment Cases

by Corey Asay, Esq.

The need to enforce nondiscrimination policies and conduct thorough investigations into claims of workplace harassment is not new advice, but it is advice that bears repeating. Allegations of harassment that go uninvestigated, or are investigated improperly, can cost your company dearly.

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Monday, August 5, 2013

Victory for Employers: The Supreme Court Limits Employer Liability in Harassment Cases

by Tanya M. Reed, Esq.

In a close 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court just gave employers a reason to celebrate by limiting employer strict liability in harassment cases.

In Vance v. Ball State University, Maetta Vance ("Ms. Vance"), an African-American woman, sued her employer and alleged she was subjected to an unlawful harassment and a racially hostile work environment in violation of Title VII. The parties disputed whether the alleged harasser was a "supervisor" under the law. This is an important distinction because under Title VII an employer's liability for workplace harassment depends on the harasser's status as a "co-worker" or "supervisor."

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Redefining Racial Discrimination

By Brooke Nixon, Esq.

It’s impossible to control every employee for every minute of every day. Thankfully the law generally veers far away from imposing such a widespread burden on employers or managers. However, there is a heightened burden on employers to react quickly and effectively to resolve certain issues. For instance, the law requires employers to take particular action in response to allegations of employee-on-employee racial discrimination or harassment.

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