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HR Intel: Sexual Harassment 2.0 – Now Comes the Harder Part

The fall of 2017 may forever be remembered for launching the #metoo movement as bombshell sexual harassment claims against big names arose seemingly every other day.

States Ask Congress To Prohibit Arbitration In Sex Harassment Claims

A unanimous block of attorneys general from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, not to mention several U.S. territories, sent a letter to Congress yesterday asking federal lawmakers to prohibit the use of mandatory arbitration agreements when it comes to claims of sexual harassment. If Congress responds by passing legislation as requested, employers would need to adjust to a new reality that would have significant implications on human resources practices and employment litigation.

A New Valentine’s Day Conundrum for Employers: Could Emoji Messages Amount to Harassment in the #MeToo Era?

It’s Valentine’s Day yet again, but this year the climate is different for employers. Between the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, and the near-daily collapse of famous and powerful men (and some women) due to allegations of sexual harassment, employers are on high alert for any sign that sexual misconduct could be going on underneath their noses. While the holiday season usually brings the most challenges for human resources professionals trying to ensure holiday parties do not get out of hand and religious accommodation issues are properly handled, another holiday causes heartburn for many: Valentine’s Day.

Love Contracts and Policies on Office Romance: What Can an Employer Do if Love is in the Air?

February is often called the “month of love,” and for employers, it may be an appropriate time to consider how to address issues surrounding workplace romance. Regardless of whether employers approve, it is likely inevitable that, at some point, the love bug will bite at work. According to a 2017 survey by CareerBuilder, 41 percent of employees said they had dated a work colleague within the prior year. Another study, by the University of Chicago, revealed that nearly 22 percent of U.S. married couples met at work. But because not every office romance results in wedding bells or fairy tale endings, such relationships create the potential for workplace conflicts, allegations of sexual harassment or retaliation and even litigation. Employers have several options for addressing possible problems in order to avoid legal headaches.

Workplace Sexual Harassment: More HR Guidance Needed

Christine Howard’s article “Workplace Sexual Harassment: More HR Guidance Needed” was featured in Risk Management Monitor. Smart employers are planning and training now to reduce sexual harassment to mitigate risk, and therefore, potential damage claims affecting executives and employees across employer ranks.

Challenging Harassment in the Workplace: A Key Priority at the EEOC

While EEO compliance remains an important objective for the employer community, minimizing the risk of facing a harassment claim has become a top priority. The weekly, and sometimes daily, headlines of new harassment allegations are ample proof of this.

Congress May Soon Provide Sexual Harassment Coverage For Gig Workers

Last week was a big week when it comes to shining the spotlight on sexual harassment in the gig economy arena. On Thursday, Nathan Heller wrote a piece for the New Yorker that garnered a lot of attention entitled, “The Gig Economy Is Especially Susceptible to Sexual Harassment.”

New Tax Law, and Other Potential Reforms, May Change How Harassment Claims Are Resolved

Bruce Sarchet and Corinn Jackson, both with Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute, discuss how the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affects the terms of settlement agreements used for sexual harassment claims. They address how the new law alters business expense tax deductions related to such settlements. They also review several additional federal and state initiatives that would curtail the use of nondisclosure or arbitration agreements in the harassment context.

Superstar Sexual Harassment Revelations Roil the Workplace

It’s been three months since the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment news broke, but the bombshell revelations involving big names keep on coming. From Charlie Rose to Matt Lauer, Kevin Spacey, Al Franken, Peter Martins and too many others to mention, the superstar sexual harassment issue isn’t going away any time soon.

Another Employer Deduction Bites the Dust

You have probably heard about the many tax deductions that you are losing (or have lost) as a result of the new tax law (known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, or TCJA). But, if you are an employer, one that you may not have heard about – or may not have had reason to hear about – is loss of the Federal income tax deduction for amounts paid in settlement of claims relating to sexual harassment and/or sexual abuse, as well as attorneys’ fees paid with respect to any such settlement or payment, if the settlement or payment is subject to a nondisclosure agreement.

Ogletree Deakins | California | The Opportunities and Obligations of Venture Capital and Private Equity in the #MeToo Environment (February 01, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | Glimmers of Hope? Pair of Recent PAGA Cases Provide Rare Procedural Victories for California Employers (January 31, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | DLSE Publishes Voluntary Template for Required Employer AB 450 Notice (February 11, 2018)

Ogletree Deakins | California | California’s Salary History Ban: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (January 23, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | The ICEman Cometh? Recent War of Words Puts California Employers in the Crosshairs of National Immigration Debate (January 22, 2018)

Ogletree Deakins | California | Cal/OSHA Approves Long-Awaited Housekeeper Injury Prevention Regulations (January 24, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | Trial Court Properly Denied Attorneys’ Fees To Plaintiff Who Proved His Termination Was Substantially Motivated By His Disabilities, But Was Not The Prevailing Party At Trial (January 21, 2018)

Fisher Phillips | California | Cal/OSHA Approves Hotel Housekeeping Injury Standard – Likely to Go Into Effect Later This Year (January 21, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | California Labor Department Releases Form for Employers Responding to Immigration Agency Inspection (February 12, 2018)

Jackson Lewis P.C. | California | Exemption, Not Pre-Emption: California Federal Court Clarifies Meal and Rest Break Rules May Be Exempt From Labor Code Enforcement For Employers With Valid Collective Bargaining Agreements (February 14, 2018)