Category: Sexual Harassment

What is Required of New York Employers Under the Recent Changes to the State and City Sexual Harassment Laws?

What is Required of New York Employers Under the Recent Changes to the State and City Sexual Harassment Laws?

As the #MeToo movement was changing the conversation around sexual harassment nationwide, both New York State and New York City passed laws aimed at changing the way New York employers handle sexual harassment in the workplace. The changes include mandatory sexual harassment training and policies, enhanced protections for employees and non-employees and additional reporting and certification requirements for City and...

It May Be A New World For Sexual Harassment, But Many Old Rules Still Apply

It May Be A New World For Sexual Harassment, But Many Old Rules Still Apply

In the weeks since allegations began to surface regarding the sexually predatory behavior of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, sexual harassment allegations (sometimes admitted and sometimes disputed) against powerful, prominent men have been a daily feature of the headlines, involving Oscar-winning actors, sitting and would-be senators, talk show hosts, and numerous other high profile figures. Allegations against the both the current...

Quirky Question #284: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, can you still unlawfully retaliate against it?

Quirky Question #284: If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, can you still unlawfully retaliate against it?

Question: One of our male supervisors wants to fire a female employee who complained that he was sexually harassing her. The harassment allegations appear to have some substance: he asked her for pictures of herself in a bikini; told her to “stay off [her] knees,” which she viewed as sexual innuendo; and told her that her regulation length shorts were...

Quirky Question # 158, Reporting Harassment to the Harasser

Quirky Question # 158, Reporting Harassment to the Harasser

Question: Our company has a sexual harassment policy.  The policy makes clear that an employee who feels as though he or she has been harassed should report the problematic conduct to our Director of Human Resources.  The policy also provides that, if more convenient, or for any other reason, the employee also can report the harassing behaviors to anyone else...

Sexual Harassment and Negligent Hiring, Can Same Conduct Justify Two Claims, Quirky Question # 152

Sexual Harassment and Negligent Hiring, Can Same Conduct Justify Two Claims, Quirky Question # 152

Quirky Question #152 One of our employees complained of sexual harassment. We investigated, though admittedly not as promptly as we should have. We discovered that the harasser had engaged in some seriously problematic conduct. Our investigation also revealed that the harasser had engaged in similar conduct at a prior employer and previously, at our company, with a different employee who...

Sexual Harassment, Quirky Question # 133

Sexual Harassment, Quirky Question # 133

Quirky Question # 133: Our company provides private correctional and detention management to government agencies around the globe.  One of our employees, a detentions officer, reported to our Ethics Officer that a co-worker called her work phone and asked her to engage in sexual intercourse and to be his “booty call” or “one night stand.”  She refused to file a...

Associational Gender Discrimination, Quirky Question # 118

Associational Gender Discrimination, Quirky Question # 118

Quirky Question # 118: One of our male employees (call him Mr. X) recently complained that a supervisor at our company was sexually harassing Mr. X’s girlfriend, also one of our employees.  We advised him that we would investigate.  Apparently, however, our investigation was not moving sufficiently fast for him.  When Mr. X encountered the supervisor in routine work settings, he...

Corporate Liability for Employee Actions, Quirky Question # 112

Corporate Liability for Employee Actions, Quirky Question # 112

Quirky Question # 112: We are interested in expanding and diversifying our business in Alaska and are looking at acquiring and operating assisted-living facilities.  Although this is a logical spin-off from our primary business, we do not have any actual experience in this area.  We are attempting to sort through numerous issues related to the operation of these facilities. We...

Who’s a Supervisor?, Quirky Question # 102

Who’s a Supervisor?, Quirky Question # 102

Quirky Question # 102: We’ve tried hard to institute and enforce an effective sexual harassment policy.  Nevertheless, we still occasionally receive sexual harassment complaints from some of our employees.  Recently, an employee sued us for sexual harassment.  She claimed that she reported the harassment to a relatively low level supervisor and that he failed to take any action in response...

Sexual Harassment, Ancient Info, Quirky Question # 82

Sexual Harassment, Ancient Info, Quirky Question # 82

Quirky Question # 82: I am the HR director for a mid-sized company.  A number of years ago, one of our employees complained about sexual harassment from a senior executive in the Company.  We investigated and found corroboration for a number of her allegations.  The investigation also revealed that other employees had been mistreated by the executive. We addressed the...