Sexual Harassment: Can You Be Protected Even If You Don’t Speak Out? – Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville, 129 S.Ct. 846 (2009)

This U.S. Supreme Court case is about an important question on sexual harassment, namely, can one be protected against retaliation by employer, based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, if she doesn’t speak out about sexual harassment on her own initiative, but as a response to an official inquiry? (Crawford v. Metropolitan Government of Nashville, 129 S.Ct. 846 (2009) The Court’s answer is “yes.” In 2002 Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee (Metro) investigated rumors of sexual harassment by Metro School District’s employee relations director, Gene Hughes. When during the investigation Vicky Crawford, a 30-year Metro employee, was asked about cases of sexual harassment, […]

Discriminated Against by Ex’s Boyfriend at Work?

There are a lot of ways how an employee can be discriminated against at work. But can you be discriminated against by your ex’s boyfriend? Well, if he is your boss, then probably “yes.” And it’s not just a hypothetical question. That’s what allegedly happened in Stanford Business School. In 2014 former professor of Stanford University Graduate School of Business Mr. Phills filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against dean of the School Mr. Saloner and Stanford University (as co-defendants). According to Mr. Phills, he was the subject of harassment and wrongful termination by the dean, because the dean had an affair with Mr. Phills’s ex-wife. According to Mr. Phills, he […]

What is discrimination in the workplace threshold?

What is discrimination in the workplace threshold?

We know that federal laws prohibit employers from discriminating against their employees. But what is discrimination in the workplace threshold, i.e. when a certain kind of treatment actually becomes discrimination? When one would know that he or she was treated illegally and could seek legal protection against discrimination? Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal for employers to discriminate against their employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. This rule applies to “compensation terms, conditions, or privileges of employment,” i.e. basically to everything related to hiring and firing, compensation and benefits, retirement plans, disability leave, classification of employees, transfer and […]

Can All Employees Be of the Same Ethnic Origin?

Can All Employees Be of the Same Ethnic Origin?

In 1985 The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought a suit against a small company providing janitorial and cleaning services in Chicago (EEOC v. Consolidated Service Systems). The owner of the company, a Korean immigrant, was hiring mostly Koreans. He did it by relying on word of mouth rather than traditional means of advertising. The EEOC claimed that the company was discriminating in favor of the persons of Korean origin. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly prohibits any discrimination in hiring based on “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” The court was looking for any evidence of an intentional discrimination, because the mere fact that […]