Plaintiff, a female employee, brought a sexual harassment and retaliation claim under the New York City Human Rights Law, N.Y.C. Adm. Code §8-101 et seq. ("NYCHRL"), against her employer, claiming that her supervisor ran the office like a "boys' club" and subjected her to sexually suggestive comments including propositioning her for sex. The Second Circuit, in a 39-page opinion, reversed the lower court's dismissal of Plaintiff's claims and remanded for trial, holding that Plaintiff's claims should be "broadly construed" under the NYCHRL's protections which are intended to go above and beyond the floor provided by federal law.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has recently released its 2012 Enforcement and Litigation Statistics which provides that although the number of sexual harassment charges filed has decreased from 7,809 in 2011 to 7,571 in 2012, the percentage of charges filed by males has increased from 16.1% to 17.8%. Although women are still filing the majority of EEOC sexual harassment charges, it is worth noting this significant increase in charges filed by men.
After a jury found that Defendant KarenKim, Inc. ("KarenKim") had subjected a class of female employees to a sexually hostile work environment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and New York State Law, the EEOC moved to alter the judgment to impose broad injunctive relief against KarenKim to ensure that the pervasive sexual harassment that had occurred would not continue which included barring the re-hire of the sexual harasser, Allen Manwaring. The district court denied the EEOC's request in its entirety and the EEOC appealed. The Second Circuit found that such injunctive relief was necessary to address the "cognizable danger" of an employer "engaging in 'recurrent violations' of Title VII."
A federal district court in Houston, Texas held in order dated February 9, 2012 that an employer did not discriminate against a woman who alleged she was fired for asking for a private location to pump breast milk after she returned from maternity leave. This decision, though, is hardly the last word on the civil rights of nursing mothers.
Outten & Golden LLP's Sexual Harassment Practice Group recently filed a lawsuit against NYU and James Stuckey alleging sexual harassment and sexual assault. The complaint alleges that our client, Ms. Bonadio, was subjected to sexual harassment at the hands of her NYU supervisor, James Stuckey. It states that "Bonadio, a director at NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies ("SCPS"), was sexually harassed and sexually assaulted by her supervisor, James Stuckey, when he forcibly grabbed her hand put it on his crotch and erect penis." In addition, "NYU withdrew a promotion that had previously been afforded to her and failed to proceed with a promised raise . . . she was advised that she had no defined position at NYU." The lawsuit seeks to vindicate her rights by seeking damages and the return of her promised promotion and raise. To read the full complaint, please click on the following link
A recent decision involving a Title VII disparate impact claim obtained by Outten & Golden from the District Court of Connecticut is gaining increasing attention from employment lawyers attempting to overcome challenges to class certification. The decision distinguishes the Supreme Court decision of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, and also highlights the continued importance of Second Circuit precedent in employment class actions brought under Title VII.
Suing your boss is just about the most stressful thing you can do, especially when you are claiming sexual harassment. Once you make such a claim, you can be sure your employer will say one of two things: either he will claim that nothing inappropriate ever happened, and Therefore you are delusional, or he will admit that something happened, but, whatever it was, it was either trivial or consensual (or both) and so you are a liar and a slut.
Nearly a half of all middle and high schoolers experienced sexual harassment in the last school year, according to a New York Times article from earlier this week. The director of research at the American Association of University Women, the organization that conducted the survey, stated that sexual harassment is "almost a normal part of the school day."
Recently, one of the women who have accused Herman Cain of making inappropriate sexual advances said (through her attorney) she did not want to identify herself publicly because she did not want to become "another Anita Hill." What does it mean to "be Anita Hill." Professor Hill's story is in many ways a story of perseverance over the expectations of her time about the role of women in the workplace. Then, and still now, coming forward and alleging harassment often requires speaking truth to power. Yet, as Cain's accuser's reluctance suggests, it also a choice not live in anonymity and to invite controversy and potential ridicule.
Can increased scrutiny at work, including a disciplinary letter (later withdrawn), constitute a "materially adverse action" for a claim under Title VII's anti-retaliation provision, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a)? A jury said "yes," to the tune of a $500,000 judgment, but the Second Circuit - in a 2-1 decision - sides with the district court on these facts, and says "no."