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Total Articles: 10

No Tax Deduction for Sexual Harassment Settlements Subject to Confidentiality Provision

Congress recently passed the 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act which includes Internal Revenue Code §162(q). Specifically

Scandals Continue Casting Spotlight on Sexual Harassment

CBS Chief Les Moonves has become the latest high-profile executive accused of harassment in the #MeToo era and surely won’t be the last. Six women have accused him of sexual harassment or misconduct from the 1980s to the 2000s. But give Late Show host Stephen Colbert credit for taking time during an opening monologue to address the controversy surrounding Moonves, the man who hired him, head on.

Fifth Circuit Permits Employee Allegedly Harassed by Patient to Proceed to Trial

A recent Fifth Circuit decision reminds healthcare employers that liability not only stems from potential harassment of employees by coworkers, but by patients as well. In Gardner v. CLC of Pascagoula, L.L.C. dba Plaza Community Living Center, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 17939 (5th Cir. June 29, 2018), the Fifth Circuit held that Kymberli Gardner, a former assisted living facility certified nursing assistant who was allegedly harassed by a patient, can proceed with her hostile work environment claim to trial. The Court reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the employer.

EEOC's Select Task Force On Harassment: Transforming #MeToo Into A Mandate For A Harassment-Free Workplace

The #MeToo movement continues to provide traction for the crack-down on workplace harassment. On June 11, 2018, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reconvened its Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. If you think this is just for show, all indications are that you are wrong.

The Sexual Harassment Problem in the Food and Hospitality Industries

Imagine that your employee comes to you and tells you that a few days ago when she was helping a busboy change out the kegs in the basement, he groped her.

House Members Introduce Bipartisan Anti-Harassment Legislation

On July 17, 2018, a bipartisan group of House lawmakers—Reps. Lois Frankel (D-FL), Ted Poe (R-TX), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Barbara Comstock (R-VA), and Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) —introduced legislation targeting workplace harassment. Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced a companion bill in the Senate last month. The Ending the Monopoly of Power Over Workplace harassment through Education and Reporting (EMPOWER) Act (H.R. 6406, S. 2994) would, among other obligations, ban nondisclosure and non-disparagement agreements related to harassment as a condition of employment or receipt of employment-related benefits, and would require certain public disclosures. This federal bill comes on the heels of several state-level proposals stemming from the #MeToo movement.

EEOC Fights to Keep #MeToo Movement Alive

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sometimes chooses to file a lawsuit against an employer, on an employee’s behalf, after investigation of a charge of discrimination. Typically, the EEOC chooses to litigate only a very small percentage of all charges filed. In this past June alone, however, the commission filed eight lawsuits alleging sexual harassment against employers, thus perpetuating the #MeToo movement.

#MeToo at Home and Abroad

The news that Harvey Weinstein was indicted on July 2 on additional criminal charges, one of which (predatory sexual assault) carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, makes clear that the #MeToo movement and its influence on the workplace and our culture will not abate any time soon.

Reexamining Reasonableness: What Employers Should Know About the Third Circuit’s Take on the Faragher-Ellerth Defense

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in Minarsky v. Susquehanna County, No. 17-2646 (July 3, 2018). The decision, which vacated the entry of summary judgment in favor of an employer that had asserted the Faragher-Ellerth defense to a sexual harassment claim based upon a hostile work environment, provides some important lessons for employers.

Investigations in the #MeToo Environment: The Importance of Planning Before A Harassment Complaint

Jennifer Youpa, a shareholder in Littler’s Dallas office, and Kevin O’Neill, Senior Director of Littler’s Learning Group, discuss the importance of harassment complaint investigations in the #MeToo climate. As Jennifer and Kevin explain, investigatory responses can no longer be “one size fits all,” especially with the possibility of the viral disclosure of allegations or incidents through social media. In this podcast, Jennifer and Kevin reveal strategies and trends they have seen as they conduct training for employers on sexual harassment and related issues. They address the need for employers to plan various investigatory protocols well ahead of any complaints and how organizations can assess whether an external investigator may be beneficial.