What is Hostile Work Environment Sexual Harassment?

“Hostile work environment” sexual harassment occurs when an employee is subject to unwelcome advances, sexual innuendos, or offensive gender-related language that is sufficiently severe or pervasive from the perspective of a reasonable person of the same gender as the offended employee. Hostile work environment harassment requires, under the law, a link between the hostility by  Read More …

Common Mistakes of Sexual Harassment Victims

You know you’ve been harassed and it’s time to take action. Your next steps could have important consequences for your sexual harassment case. Educate yourself and preserve the integrity of your sexual harassment case. Click through the links below to our articles and videos detailing some of the common mistakes that sexual harassment victims make and  Read More …

What is Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment?

“Quid pro quo” translates from Latin to English as “this for that.”  The basic idea is that of an exchange.  I do something for you, and you, in turn, do something for me.  You may have heard the saying, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.”  This conveys the same underlying message, and it  Read More …

Sexual Harassment v. Gender Discrimination

The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the United States Federal law in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII) prohibit gender discrimination in the workplace and harassment based on the sex of an employee. Harassment is conduct that is not necessary for the performance of a supervisory job, but is instead outside  Read More …

Wrongful Termination Against Public Policy

Wrongful Termination Against Public Policy In California, it is unlawful for your employer to terminate you for a reason that is against public policy. Examples of reasons for termination that are against public policy is if your employer terminated you because of a protected characteristic, such as because of your sex, race, disability, religion, sexual  Read More …

When is Bullying at Work Illegal?

Bullying has been a hot-button topic in recent years, particularly school bullying, which has resulted in a number of tragic student suicides.  But long after leaving high school behind, many face bullying as adults, including bullying in the workplace, cyberbullying, and domestic violence. Bullying in the workplace can give rise to legal claims.  Workplace bullies  Read More …

Twitter is accused of gender discrimination

In the wake of the much-publicized Pao v. Kleiner Perkins trial, the national spotlight is newly focused on the issue of gender discrimination and bias in the tech world. The latest big name tech company to be named in a suit is Twitter, which is facing a class action lawsuit for sexual discrimination. Former software  Read More …

Pregnancy discrimination case against AutoZone results in $185M verdict

Federal jury in San Diego awarded nearly $186 million in punitive damages to a store manager at AutoZone after finding that the company retaliated against the pregnant manager, in the end demoting her and firing her. Rosario Juarez, 43, was awarded about $873,000 in compensatory damages and $185 million in punitive damages report Reuters, the Wall Street  Read More …

EEOC’s New Pregnancy Discrimination Guidelines and Fair Employment: Know Your Rights

    Recently, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed article on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s new guidelines to pregnancy discrimination laws. Suffice to say, the writer of said Wall Street Journal piece found little justification for the new legislation. Instead, he claimed that the new changes were simply another “radical legal interpretation” that  Read More …

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Releases New Federal Regulations Regarding Pregnancy Discrimination

On July 14, 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published new federal regulations for workplace discrimination against pregnant workers. The newly expanded legislation delineates for the first time how the Americans With Disabilities Act applies to pregnant workers, specifying that any form of harassment or discrimination of pregnant workers by their employers is a form  Read More …

Bullying Guidelines Meet Measured Approval with Palo Alto School Board Members

According to the Palo Alto Weekly, after being put on notice by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in December 2012 for mishandling the bullying complaints of a disabled student, the Palo Alto School District has reached an agreement on a new policy that will address the resolution process for complaints  Read More …

White House Responds to Sexual Assault on College Campuses

On April 28, 2014, the Obama administration pledged to take actions to aid in the prevention and resolution of reports of sexual assaults and violence by students on college campuses across the country according to the Wall Street Journal. Spurred on by the protests and outcries of student activists, Obama created the White House Task  Read More …

Former San Diego Mayor Sued Again For Sexual Harassment

According to the Los Angeles Times, another sexual harassment lawsuit was filed this month against former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner.  Plaintiff Marilyn McGaughy alleges in the lawsuit that Filner kissed, massaged and groped her and made repeated sexual advances and sexual comments. Ms. McGaughy alleges Filner committed sexual harassment, sexual battery, and gender violence  Read More …

Court Upholds Large Attorneys’ Fees Award Against UPS in Gender Discrimination Case

In the case of Muniz v. United Parcel Service, Inc., the Ninth Circuit District Court upheld an attorneys’ fees award of almost $700,000 against Defendant UPS.  UPS argued that such a large attorneys’ fees award was not fair in a case where the Plaintiff, Kim Muniz, was awarded $27,280 in damages at trial after the  Read More …

Congressional Bill Addresses Military Sexual Assault

On December 9, 2013, negotiators from the House of Representatives and Senate reached a compromise on a proposed bill to address the sexual harassment and assault of military personnel. Though the bill is a major step forward in the much sought after legislation, some proponents of the bill claim it doesn’t go far enough. Senator  Read More …

Women’s Organization Accused of Same-Sex Harassment

According to the New York Times, four women in New York are suing the National Association of Professional Women and three of its executives, alleging that the manager of the pro-women’s organization sexually harassed them by regularly “pinching and grabbing their buttocks and calling them vulgar names.” In addition, the women claim that their paychecks  Read More …

Emotional Distress Claims in Sexual Harassment Cases

Victims of sexual harassment often add a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress to their complaints. To support a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, a plaintiff must prove that the defendant’s conduct was so outrageous that it exceeded all bounds that are usually tolerated in a civilized community.  Severe emotional distress means  Read More …

Bullying at School and Work Involves Power Imbalance

The Fairmeadow Elementary School has adopted an approach to anti-bullying which embeds anti bullying lessons in the curriculum and revisits the issue of bullying on a regular basis.  The newer lessons teach empathy, not just for the bullied child but also for the bully, and encourage other children to become “upstanders” against bullying rather than  Read More …

Gun Companies Add More Marketing to Women

Gun companies are increasing their marketing to women through products such as pink Flash Bang Bra holsters and tight “compression” shorts with built in gun holders. Some online gun retailer sites also offer bullet jewelry or jokey T-shirts with slogans like “P.M.S. (Packing’ My Sidearm)”. The Wall Street Journal reports that such marketing is coming  Read More …

Women’s Progress in Careers

Despite having to face sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, women are making progress. The Wall Street Journal reports that women account for a third of the nation’s lawyers and doctors, a major shift from a generation ago when those professions were occupied almost exclusively by men. The Wall Street Journal article goes on  Read More …

How to Avoid Summary Judgment in Sexual Harassment Cases

The California Supreme Court has consistently supported summary judgment against plaintiffs in sexual harassment cases where the plaintiff has not made out a case that is sufficient under the legal definitions of “severe” or “pervasive”.  The California Supreme Court says “severe” means an offensive touching involving physical violence or a threat thereof.  For sexual harassment  Read More …

Third Party Rights to Bring Retaliation Claims

In the case of Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP, the plaintiff, Thompson, claimed he was fired by his employer in retaliation for his fiancé’s filing of an EEOC complaint against the same employer. On January 24, 2011, the US Supreme Court unanimously held that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects a third-party  Read More …

Hughes v. Pair Presents Potential Quid Pro Quo Loophole

The California Supreme Court in Hughes v. Pair (July 2009) ruled that sexual requests to a plaintiff, without consequential adverse action in response to a plaintiff’s refusal to comply with sexual favors, does not constitute quid pro quo sexual harassment. After the plaintiff’s trustees had voted to give her money for just one month for  Read More …

Pervasive Cases in Point

To establish a claim of hostile work environment sexual harassment, an employee must prove that the sexual harassment was either sufficiently severe or sufficiently pervasive. It can be difficult to point out what the courts will and will not consider as sufficiently pervasive sexual harassment. The courts have indicated that a sufficiently pervasive sexual harassment  Read More …

Using Your Strengths to Overcome Sexual Harassment

Determine your top five character strengths and how to use them to overcome and cope with the effects of sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment can create an offensive work environment, leaving victims feeling fear, guilt or shame—but they are far from helpless in overcoming and coping with the effects of harassment. Get informed,  Read More …

What is Sexual Harassment According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission?

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably  Read More …