Former Chipotle Employee To Get Trial on Racial Harassment Claim

An employer can avoid liability for one employee’s harassment of another employee if it takes prompt remedial action to address that harassment.  One way to do this is for an employer to conduct an investigation, counsel the involved employees, and/or discipline the harassing employee.  On the other hand, telling an employee who complains about racial harassment to “shut up, n***er” is not the right way to address harassment complaints....
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Prompt Investigation Helps Employer Avoid Liability On Harassment Claim

In a recent decision from a Mississippi federal court, Nissan avoided liability on a former employee’s sexual harassment claim because she could not show that her employer acted negligently in responding to her complaints.  Davenport v. Nissan N. Am., Inc., No. 3:14-CV-00671-CWR-LRA (S.D. Miss. Oct. 22, 2015). From August 2012 until January 2014, Joslyne Davenport worked as a production associate at a Nissan manufacturing plant in Canton,...
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Name Calling, Prayer Circle, and Social Shunning Help Revive Discrimination Claims

Reversing a decision it described as “replete with error,” the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has revived an employee’s claims of retaliation, and religion- and national origin-based hostile work environment.  Huri v. Office of the Chief Judge of the Circuit Cir. Ct. of Cook Cnty., No. 12-2217 (7th Cir. Oct. 21, 2015). Fozyia Huri, a Muslim from Saudi Arabia, began working for the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois in 2000.  Huri...
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New Fourth Circuit Standard: Single Incident Sufficient For Title VII Hostile Workplace Harassment Claim

Sometimes, once is enough.  In a just issued en banc decision that overturns established circuit precedent, the Fourth Circuit held that a single workplace incident was sufficiently severe to trigger Title VII's protection. In Boyer-Liberto v. Fontainebleau Corp., 4th Cir. No 13-1473 (May 7, 2015), an African-American hotel worker was fired after she complained that a white employee had called her a “porch monkey” twice within 24 hours....
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