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October 2011 Archives

Allegations of Sexual Harassment Against Herman Cain Exposed

Herman Cain, a leading candidate in the primaries for the Republican nominee for president, confirmed today that he had been the subject of sexual harassment allegations while serving as the head of the National Restaurant Association. Coming in the wake of the twentieth anniversary of the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, the charges against Mr. Cain remind us how ever-present sexual harassment is in the workplace.

Sex, Power, and Speaking Truth: Anita Hill Conference Held at Hunter College

On October 15, 2011, twenty years after Clarence Thomas's confirmation to the Supreme Court, Hunter College held a conference with over 1,000 attendees honoring Anita Hill's courage during the confirmation hearings. The conference was co-hosted by Outten & Golden's own Kathleen Peratis and activist Letty Pogrebin. The inspiration for the conference arose, Professor Hill revealed, in part by a phone message just months earlier from Clarence Thomas's wife asking Professor Hill to apologize to Clarence Thomas for her testimony. After that call made national news, the public outcry demonstrated how strongly people still felt about the hearings today-a fact that the packed audience at Hunter College confirmed to be true. Remarkably, the audience consisted of men and women of all ages and races. It was a true testament that Anita Hill's legacy has and continues to impact generations of civil rights advocates.

Gray v. Citigroup, Inc., No. 09-3804 (2d Cir. Oct. 19, 2011); Gearren v. McGraw-Hill Cos., Inc., No. 10-792 (2d Cir. Oct. 19, 2011)

The Second Circuit becomes the latest U.S. Court of Appeals to join the fray about whether to adopt what is known as a "presumption of prudence" under ERISA. The rule favors plan fiduciaries who allow investment in company stock in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), despite knowing that the company stock is very risky. In two divided opinions, the panel adopts the presumption of prudence over a sharply-worded dissent.

Anita Hill Speaks to Outten & Golden About Sexual Harassment

Outten & Golden was horned to host Professor Anita Hill on October 12th at our office.  Professor Hill discussed both her role in the evolution of raising awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace since the Thomas hearings twenty years ago, as well as the mes in her new book Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race and Finding Home (Beacon Press, 2011).

After Anita Hill: What Has Changed About Sexual Harassment

This autumn marks the twentieth anniversary of Professor Anita Hill's electric testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the nomination of Clarence Thomas as Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Egan v. Freedom Bank, No. 10-1214 (7th Cir. Oct. 5, 2011)

The Seventh Circuit reverses summary judgment on a Title VII retaliation claim, where an employee with "no performance issues, no attendance problems, and no complaints against her" loses her job as bank vice president, after the incoming president is (allegedly) tipped-off that the employee complained abut harassment.

Wesley v. General Drivers, Warehousemen and Helpers Local 745, No. 11-10120 (5th Cir. Oct. 4, 2011)

The Fifth Circuit takes up the question of when it might constitute race discrimination (under 42 U.S.C. § 1981) for a union not to pursue a theory of race discrimination in a grievance proceeding. The Fifth Circuit affirms summary judgment of the local union and union representative, holding that it was not an "adverse action" in this case, but in the particular setting where the employee himself got to present a discrimination theory on his own behalf.

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