Here are the largest sexual harassment lawsuits that were concluded in 2013:
A Florida jury awarded $20 million to eight former female employees of two merged travel telemarketing companies after the jury found that the women were subjected to a sexually hostile work environment. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed the sexual harassment lawsuit against Four Amigos Travel and Top Dog Travel on behalf of the eight women.
In April 2013, an administrative judge awarded $2 million to a female former sergeant at the Rensselaer County jail who was allegedly subjected to years of mental and physical sexual harassment by a group of male coworkers. The woman claims that a coworker, William Fenton, groped her buttocks and breasts. After she complained to Captain Harold Smith about the incident, she claims she was subjected to a hostile work environment in retaliation by her coworkers Timmy Hayes, David Hayes, Jimmy Suriano, Jamie Kozowsil, Joe Bruno, Jay Burns, John Hayes, Mark Piche, David Higgett, and David Connell. The female sergeant eventually quit her job in order to escape the hostile work environment, and a state board found that she suffered post-traumatic stress and depression.
A California jury awarded a woman $1.5 million after it found that she was sexually harassed by Oceanside Police Officer Gilbert Garcia. The woman worked as a contractor for the Oceanside Police department as a phlebotomist From August 2008 to January 2010.
The City of Los Angeles agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit that was filed against it by two lesbian LAPD officers. The two officers claim their boss, Sgt . Randy Hoffmaster, subjected them to a sexually hostile work environment by making unwanted sexual propositions to them and by making vulgar sexual comments to them.
In 2010, a California jury awarded a former employee of The 101 Casino in Petaluma more than $2 million after it found that she was sexually harassed by her boss, Bill Bundesen, and Randy Yaple. A judge later lowered her award to $1.2 million. The woman claims that Bundesen made unwanted sexual comments to her and then began disciplining her for minor or fabricated issues after she complained to the HR department.
A jury awarded three women $1 million in a sexual harassment lawsuit that was filed against Alabama State University. The three former university employees claim that they were subjected to a racially and sexually hostile work environment by John F. Knight Jr., the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Alabama State University and an Alabama state legislator as well as Lavonette Bartley.
Ohio’s Orange Township agreed to pay $875,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit that was filed against the township by a former firefighter who claimed that she was subjected to sexual harassment and then fired because she is a woman. The woman will also get her old job back.
The Illinois Town of Cicero agreed to pay $675,000 to a former police officer and another woman to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit that accused Town President Larry Dominick of sexually harassing them. According to the complaint, Dominick made sexually explicit comments to one of the women “on a constant basis.” She also claims that Dominick touched her breasts.
New York City agreed to pay $600,000 to four female guards at Rikers Island Jail to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit that the women had filed against the city. The women claim they were sexually harassed by male supervisors such as deputy warden Raphael Olivo.
In March, 2013, a federal judge reduced the $3.5 million jury award in a sexual harassment lawsuit that a former lifeguard at the Takoma Aquatic Center had filed. The judge reduced the award to $350,000. The woman claims that she was sexually harassed by her then supervisor, Rodney Weaver, and that the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation did not take action to stop the harassment after she complained to six different district supervisors.
Do you think it is LEGAL for an Employer to review FACEBOOK and subsequently deny an applicant from work or employment? …We wanna hear your comments!
Do you have a blog, Facebook page, or other online presence? Most people use social media to some extent, whether to post pictures, air opinions, stay in touch with family and friends, or get involved in communities of people with similar interests. Of course, some people also use social media to air offensive views, post pictures of themselves drunk or naked (or both), or show off their extensive weapons collections.
The opportunities the Internet offers for self-expression can become a problem once you embark on a job search. The news is full of reports of employers turning down applicants based on online posts; some employers even ask applicants to supply their Facebook or other online passwords, to allow access to information that they’ve tried to keep private.
What Employers Are Doing
According to surveys, about three-quarters of recruiters check out applicants on the Internet when hiring, and almost half of all employers do the same. Employers report rejecting job applicants when they find references to drug use, heavy drinking, sexually offensive materials, violent imagery, and so on.
In recent months, some employers have started asking applicants to provide their passwords and log-in information for social media sites as part of the interview process. Even if an employee has used a site’s privacy settings to protect certain information from public view, an employer with access to an employee’s password can bypass these protections and see material the employee intended to make available only to chosen viewers.
Legal Constraints on Employers
Employers who check applicants out online run a number of legal risks. First off, an employer who looks at an applicant’s Facebook page or other social media posts could well learn information that it isn’t entitled to have – or to consider during the hiring process. This can lead to discrimination claims.
For example, your posts or page might reveal your ethnicity, disclose that you are pregnant, or your spouse, political or religious views. This type of information is off limits in the hiring process, and an employer who discovers it online and uses it as a basis for hiring decisions could face a discrimination lawsuit.
Applicants are protected by privacy laws as well. If you have publicly posted information about yourself without bothering to restrict who can view it, you will have a difficult time arguing that it was private. An employer is free to view this information (although it may not be able to use it in the hiring process, as explained above).
If, however, you take steps to limit who can see your posts, the privacy equation shifts. A couple of courts have found against employers that have accessed private websites or pages by misappropriating employee names and passwords; in both cases, employees had set up a restricted online space to vent about the company.
In response to publicity about employers pressuring job applicants to give up their Facebook passwords, a number of states are considering legislation to ban this practice. Maryland became the first to pass a law prohibiting employers from requesting or requiring passwords to social media sites; a handful of other states have followed suit. Facebook has weighed in to make soliciting passwords a violation of the site’s code of conduct. And, the federal government is currently investigating whether practices like these violate federal discrimination and privacy laws.
What Can You Do?
If you are about to embark on a job search, consider whether you might need to clean up your online act. Of course, with cached sites and historical searches, you really can’t entirely undo your past posts. But take a close look at your publicly accessible information and make sure it’s ready for prime time.
Also, mind those privacy settings. If you have information or material you want to leave up but don’t want employers to see, at least put it behind a privacy wall. But you should be aware that employers may still be able to request your password, unless your state has prohibited this practice. You should also untag yourself in any photos that you don’t want potential employers to stumble across.
If you’ve left an unfortunate digital trail, be ready with an explanation. Even if you are able to take down your original indiscrete post, it may have been reproduced or quoted elsewhere, others may have commented on it, or it may simply live on forever in the digital wayback machine. In this situation, the best you can do is try to minimize the chances an employer will find it and have an explanation (of your youthful indiscretions and your changed ways, for example) queued up if you need it.
by: Lisa Guerin, J.D.
Source: NOLO Law
==>>> Subscribe and Post Annonymously, by Your Name or Title or by Initials. Find information about your former, current or potential employer. Also, find resource and information for the employee exposed to unlawful activity and or discrimination by there co-workers, boss and or Employer.
Greystar Management Services Will Pay $25,000 to Settle EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit
Management Services Company Fired Pregnant Housekeeper, Federal Agency Charged
BALTIMORE – Greystar Management Services, LP, will pay $25,000 and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a federal pregnancy discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
According to the EEOC’s suit, employee Amada Lucero informed company management that she was pregnant and requested that she be excused from working with certain cleaning products. A company manager demanded that she provide medical documentation confirming that she was pregnant and clearing her to work with cleaning chemicals. Lucero’s doctor would not provide her with the required documentation, but Lucero nonetheless determined that she would continue working and perform her normal duties. Greystar Management Services disregarded Lucero’s choice to work and fired her.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Greystar Management Services, LP., Civil Action No. 11-cv-02789 ELH) in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Southern Division, after first attempting to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to the $25,000 in monetary relief to Lucero, the 30-month consent decree resolving the lawsuit enjoins Greystar Management Services from discriminating against any person based on sex or pregnancy. The company will implement and disseminate to all employees a policy prohibiting pregnancy discrimination and will provide training to all officers and managers at its Maryland facilities. The company will also post a remedial notice about the settlement.
“We still receive far too many pregnancy discrimination charges where a lower-income worker is fired simply because of pregnancy,” said EEOC Philadelphia District Director Spencer H. Lewis, Jr. “It’s in society’s interest, as well as required by federal law, to allow a pregnant worker to continue to work and support herself and her family when she is able to do the job, as Ms. Lucero was.”
EEOC Philadelphia Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence added, “This settlement includes meaningful equitable relief that ensures that Greystar Management Services will treat all pregnant employees and applicants the same as non-pregnant individuals who are similar in their ability to work.”
The Philadelphia District Office of the EEOC oversees Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available at its website, www.eeoc.gov.
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission – Press Release 6/2014
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I worked for “Olen Properties” / Olen Realty Services Corp on and off for several years out of Las Vegas, NV and now believe I have suffered discrimination AND retaliation for filing an EEOC complaint. My Community Manager of Hidden Cove Apts – Tracy Escoto resigned after working for Olen for several years and believe to have resigned soon after I filed a complaint directly to and against her. Tracy Escoto may now be working for Picerne Management out of Las Vegas area. If you work for Olen or Tracy Escoto - applicants and employees beware!