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Sexual Harassment

Losing Out On Voluntary Overtime Chances Can Be Tangible, Adverse Action.

Employers are by now well-versed in the concept that under Title VII, an employer is strictly liable for a supervisor’s harassment when the harassment results in a tangible employment action.  The obvious employment actions include termination, demotion, failure to promote, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, etc.  The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Ray v. […]

Male Employee’s Sexual Comments to Male Coworker Sufficient to Send Harassment Claim to Jury

Sometimes I read cases that make me realize how boring and uneventful my worklife is compared to the workplaces we read about as employment lawyers and mediators (and that is a good thing).  A recent decision from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia  drove that point home yet again. In […]

First Circuit Holds University’s Response To Sex Harassment Is Retaliation

Now more than ever, employers are aware of their obligation to take prompt remedial action in response to complaints of sex harassment.  But what happens when the employer’s attempt to placate a complainant through voluntary transfer results in less favorable work conditions?  Well, now the complainant has a cause of action for retaliation, explained the […]

Not Just “Meat Counter Culture”: When Same-Sex Harassment Violates Title VII

Most of the time, the stories of workplace sexual harassment we hear about consist of conduct occurring between men and women.  Yet Title VII’s ban on discrimination because of sex encompasses same-sex harassment in the workplace as well.  Such was the lesson learned for a Chicago, Illinois grocery store that had justified the harassment of […]

Maryland General Assembly Strengthens Internal Sex Harassment Rules

The Maryland General Assembly ended its session this week with approval of House Bill 1342, legislation aimed at strengthening policies for the investigation and resolution of sexual harassment complaints involving members of the State lawmaking community.  The Bill is designated emergency legislation.  If Governor Hogan signs as expected, it will become effective immediately. A report […]

Maryland General Assembly Considering Bills Aimed At Workplace Sexual Harassment

Maryland’s House and Senate have passed competing versions of legislation that would ban employment agreement that limit rights to sue for future claims of sexual harassment. Senate Bill 1010 — the “Disclosing Sexual Harassment in the Workplace Act of 2018” — would make void any provision in an employment contract, policy, or agreement that waives any […]

Maryland Senate President: A “Women Only” Commission on Harassment. Really?

This from the Baltimore Sun’s Legislative Reporter Erin Cox (who does excellent work reporting from Annapolis) on the first day of the session:  “Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller said Wednesday that the General Assembly will create a ‘powerful’ new commission to recommend how the legislature should root out sexual harassment in its ranks. “Miller […]

Sexual Harassment, Holiday Parties, Handbooks, and other End-of-Year Musings

I do not think a day has passed since Harvey Weinstein’s ouster that we don’t learn about a new public figure-newscaster-actor-politician-other notable name who has been accused of sexual harassment (or similar behavior) and lost his job.  Today, I woke to news of Matt Lauer’s termination from NBC.  A few moments ago I received an […]

Sexual Harassment: A Few Words of Advice in the Wake of Weinstein, Spacey, and the Media Frenzy

Over the past few weeks, we have seen, heard and read alot about allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Mark Halperin, and a number of other high-profile media  and entertainment personalities.  In most of these cases, the allegations involve claims of non-consensual sexual contact, sometimes even rising to the level of rape.  […]