Category: Sexual Harassment

Scope of Relief in Sexual Harassment Cases, Quirky Question # 67

Scope of Relief in Sexual Harassment Cases, Quirky Question # 67

Quirky Question # 67: We have a sexual harassment problem at our company.  I’ll spare you the grim details but let’s just say it’s an ugly situation, involving several members of management.  No physical contact or assaultive behavior but some widespread hostile environment issues.  Among other behaviors, for example, our managers apparently thought it perfectly appropriate to entertain clients at...

Punitive Damages for Sexual Harassment, Quirky Question # 56

Punitive Damages for Sexual Harassment, Quirky Question # 56

Quirky Question # 56: Our company is committed to eliminating sexual harassment.  We have a well-defined sexual harassment policy that is included in our employee handbook.  We also have conducted training sessions on a bi-annual basis to ensure our employees understand our company’s position on sexual harassment. Some time ago, one of our employees complained of sexual harassment.  For various...

Sexual Harassment — Activities Outside the Workplace, Quirky Question # 32

Sexual Harassment — Activities Outside the Workplace, Quirky Question # 32

Quirky Question # 32: I am an attorney in the Law Department of an advertising agency.  I recently learned in a roundabout way that one of our female employees is a motorcycle enthusiast.  For the last few years, she has taken time off from work to attend the motorcycle rally in Sturgis, South Dakota.  This year, someone at work was...

Non-Fraternization Policies, Quirky Question # 30

Non-Fraternization Policies, Quirky Question # 30

Quirky Question # 30: We are a large, national, medical device company.  Over the years, we’ve adopted personnel policies to provide appropriate guidance to our workforce and to comply with federal and state laws.  We have a well defined and clear sexual harassment policy.  Notwithstanding our sexual harassment policy, we find that we periodically confront workplace problems associated with relationships...

Disparaging Comments on Web, Quirky Question # 14

Disparaging Comments on Web, Quirky Question # 14

Quirky Question # 14: One of our employees discovered fortuitously (by Googling his own name) that a co-worker down the hall has been posting messages to a Web-blog, in which he identified the employee by name and made graphic, negative sexual observations about him.  Not surprisingly, the two employees are not friends.  The subject of the comments had no idea...

Sexual Harassment — Employment of Minors, Quirky Question # 12

Sexual Harassment — Employment of Minors, Quirky Question # 12

Quirky Question # 12: Our company employs a lot of minors.  We have a policy prohibiting sexual harassment.  It is written for our work force as a whole and is not tailored toward the high school students we employ.  A friend of mine recently told me that our policy has to be understandable by the high school students for it...

Sexual Harassment (Round 2), Quirky Question # 5

Sexual Harassment (Round 2), Quirky Question # 5

Quirky Question # 5: I read your Quirky Question # 4.  Unlike your last reader, I am not in our company’s Human Resources Department.  But I am the attorney within our Office of the General Counsel with responsibility for addressing employment issues. One of our HR representatives informed me that she had received a sexual harassment complaint by one of...

Sexual Harassment, Quirky Question # 4

Sexual Harassment, Quirky Question # 4

Quirky Question # 4: I am an HR Representative.  One of my duties is to take complaints regarding workplace discrimination, including sexual harassment. One of our female employees recently complained to me that she feels as though she is being sexually harassed by one of our top salesmen.  (He is not her supervisor, but she does work on the team...

Executive Termination, Quirky Question # 1

Executive Termination, Quirky Question # 1

Quirky Question # 1: We recently terminated one of our executives “without cause.”  Under his employment contract, we are obligated to pay one year’s severance for terminations without cause.  In contrast, we have no obligation to pay him anything if he is terminated “with cause.”  Following his departure, we reviewed his computer hard drive.  We discovered two areas of concern....