Archives: Harassment

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Illinois Enacts New Law In Response To #MeToo Movement (US)

On August 9, 2019, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed into law the Illinois Workplace Transparency Act (“WTA”), imposing new requirements and modifying existing laws in ways that will impact nearly all Illinois employers – and may be a signal of things to come in other US states.  The WTA aims to address concerns raised through … Continue Reading

Employers Prepare: New York Continues to Revamp Workplace Harassment Law (US)

Riding on the 2018 wave of workplace sexual harassment legislation, on June 19, 2019, the New York state assembly and senate voted to toughen the state’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment law (S. 6577/A. 8421 and related amendment S. 6594/A. 8424). Governor Cuomo, a proponent of the bill, is expected to sign the bill into law.  … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: Developments in Wage and Hour (CO, MA, ME, WA), Non-Compete (WA), Commuter Benefits (NJ), Sexual Harassment (DE), and Sick Leave (Dallas and Minneapolis) Laws. (US)

It’s been an active few weeks since our last State Law Round-Up in mid-April 2019, with a number of bills being signed into new laws and case developments impacting employers in many US states over the past few weeks. Colorado Failure to Pay Wages as Theft Effective January 1, 2020, an employer’s failure to pay … Continue Reading

Have You Reviewed Your UK Template Settlement Agreements Recently?

Last week we issued an alert about the UK government’s plans to introduce new legislation to tackle alleged misuse of confidentiality clauses in employment contracts and settlement agreements.  The consultation has been launched primarily in response to concerns that some employers are using confidentiality clauses (sometimes referred to as “non-disclosure agreements”) to “gag” victims of … Continue Reading

Two Recent Decisions Highlight Procedural Pitfalls in Employment Litigation (US)

Would-be plaintiffs in two employment decisions – one from the Fifth Circuit, one from the Ninth Circuit – were recently reminded that, no matter how solid the facts of their case, they can still lose on a technicality. The first case, Lee v. Venetian Casino Resort, LLC, considered whether a plaintiff’s Title VII claim was … Continue Reading

EAT approves use of indiscriminatingly inappropriate banter? Not really (UK)

If I told you that calling a colleague with links to the Traveller community a “fat ginger pikey” might not be harassment, you would be forgiven for picking up the phone to the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority. That is, however, one of the points we can take away from the EAT’s decision in Evans v Xactly … Continue Reading

Deadline Extended for Compliance with New York Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Requirement

As we discussed in our previous posts – see here and here – in April 2018, New York passed legislation intended to combat workplace sexual harassment.  Under this new law, employers are required to implement and distribute to employees a written policy prohibiting sexual harassment by October 9, 2018.  To assist employers in complying, in … Continue Reading

New York Releases Package of Draft Model Policies for Employers and State Contractors in Response to Sexual Harassment Law Adopted in April 2018

On August 23, 2018, the New York State Department of Labor (“NYSDOL”) released written guidance addressing new requirements under New York State law that are designed to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.  The material outlines proposed minimum standards, training requirements and other compliance materials for the new state law.  This release comes as the … Continue Reading

California Legislature Passes Bill Prohibiting Arbitration Agreements and Non-Disclosure Agreements Regarding California Employment Law Claims

On August 22, 2018, the California State Senate passed AB 3080, which, if signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown, would invalidate two types of commonly-used employment contracts that have been the subject of significant dialogue in the vast wake of the #metoo movement. First, the bill proposes to prohibit employers from requiring employees to … Continue Reading

State Law Round-Up: New Sick Leave, Sexual Harassment Laws and Other State Law Developments (MA, MD, MN, NJ, NYC, TX, VT)

Massachusetts Imposes One-Year Cap and Other Restrictions On Non-Compete Agreements The Massachusetts Noncompetition Agreement Act (see link, at Section 24L) (“MNAA”) effective October 1, 2018, places new restrictions on the length and applicability of non-compete agreements between employers and employees who work within the state of Massachusetts. (Note that the law defines employees to include … Continue Reading

California’s New Candor: Disclosing Rehiring Ineligibility for Employees Terminated for Harassment

Your company did the right thing: One of your employees reported a violation of your company’s sexual harassment policy, HR did an investigation and found the report credible, and the alleged harasser’s employment was terminated.  The employee is gone, but what do you do if the terminated employee’s potential new employer calls for a reference … Continue Reading

New York Mandates Sexual-Harassment Prevention Requirements for Private Employers (US)

This month both the State of New York and New York City have passed separate legislation designed to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Both laws require employers to conduct mandatory sexual harassment training for all employees. On April 10, 2018, Governor Cuomo signed the Budget Bill, which contains a mandate for employers in the … Continue Reading

Title VII Bars Sexual Orientation Discrimination, Says Second Circuit Court of Appeals (US)

Last spring, we reported that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (which hears appeals from Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin federal trial courts) had become the first federal appellate court to conclude that Title VII’s sex discrimination prohibition also precludes discrimination based on sexual orientation. On February 26, 2018, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling … Continue Reading

U.S. EEOC Announces Four-Year Strategic Plan

On February 12, 2018, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) approved its Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP) for FY2018 – FY2022 (SEP).   Congress requires federal administrative agencies such as the EEOC to develop strategic plans every four years and publish their plans on their website.  The EEOC’s plan serves as a framework for the agency in … Continue Reading

All the rage – should confidentiality agreements in harassment cases be allowed?

News out this week that a committee of MPs is to look into workplace harassment, and in particular the use of confidentiality wording in settlement agreements arising from harassment allegations. Critics allege, says the BBC New Online, that such clauses are “abused by employers and legal experts to cover up wrongdoing” and used to “buy … Continue Reading

Holiday Party Tips to Ensure Too Much Cheer Does Not Turn Into a New Year’s Liability (US)

With the holiday season upon us, now is the time to assess your company’s upcoming holiday party, with the biggest concern being employee alcohol consumption. While there is no way to completely insulate your company from liability arising out of employer-sponsored holiday parties, other than a decision not to hold a holiday party all together … Continue Reading

Sexual Harassment Claims Put Non-Disclosure and Arbitration Agreements Under Scrutiny, Resulting in a Flurry of Legislative Action

In the current climate where sexual assault and harassment allegations against Hollywood elite, Congressmen and news anchors have triggered a wave of “me too” allegations, several tools commonly used by employers to shield themselves from liability have come under attack, including non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and arbitration agreements. Many employers require employees to sign NDAs as … Continue Reading

The proper response to claims of historic sexual harassment by employees

Another day, another sex scandal. A Martian reviewing the Evening Standard could reasonably conclude that this is an issue limited to film, media and politics but there would undoubtedly be those in many less glamorous workplaces who also have stories to tell and hopefully feel empowered to do so by the flood of others coming … Continue Reading

Getting handsy in Hollywood, the fall of the stars – lessons nearer home

The limelight on Hollywood has turned fifty shades darker recently with more high- profile celebrities being called out on allegations of historic inappropriate behaviour. The news of late has been littered with claim after claim of sexual harassment by celebrities against their peers in years gone by but don’t be fooled into thinking it is … Continue Reading
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