The Second Circuit reverses summary judgment in a Title VII same-sex harassment suit, finding that three intimate touchings over a five-month period by a supervisor may constitute a hostile work environment, and that the employer's defense it responded appropriately to the employee's oral complaints of harassment needed to be tried to a jury. The court reaffirms that while a workplace inevitably involves personal intrusions and employees surrender some autonomy, "giving up control over who can touch their bod[ies] is usually not one of them."
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
The Seventh Circuit substantially upholds a jury verdict that the employer, the owner of a franchise restaurant, allowed two of its teen employees to be sexually harassed in violation of Title VII. The panel, in affirming denial of judgment as a matter of law, touches on several areas that recur in such cases - making the opinion a good template for future litigation and counselling in this area. The panel nonetheless reverses liability against the personnel company that managed the restaurant's employees, and remands for a new trial on that issue.
When you're litigation counsel for a major employer, it is recommended that you do not email the following: "the 11th floor . . . staff in the area of conference room 11E [are advised] to use caution about what they say in halls or open offices," for "[c]ertain people who will be in 11E have a way of twisting and publicizing their litigation induced hallucinations." The D.C. Circuit holds in a pro se appeal that a complaint describing this and other hostile behavior stated a claim for retaliatory harassment under Title VII, reversing a district court order dismissing the complaint.
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."
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."
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.
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.
One of the most memorable hostile-work-environment facts encountered in a recent published federal opinion: The manager - who has a history of physically threatening the plaintiff - rips off his shirt at work and tells the employee, "You don't know who you are talking to. See these scars. I was shot and was in jail." The Fifth Circuit reverses summary judgment in an ADEA and Title VII harassment case.
A jury finds that a promising woman neurosurgeon was bumped off-track by a campaign of sex harassment and retaliation, in violation of Title VII and Massachusettes civil rights law. The First Circuit affirms awards of $600,000 against the Hospital in compensatory damages on the retaliation claim and $1,000,000 in compensatory damages against it on the hostile work environment claim (with lesser awards for other state law claims), and $1,352,525.94 in attorneys' fees.