California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog

Useful information for navigating legal challenges

Category Archives: Harassment

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Holidays and the Workplace: Be Merry or Bah Humbug

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Workplace Policies
Back by popular demand! We are reposting this blog post in time for the holidays. The holidays are a festive time to be shared with family, friends and even co-workers.  Many employers also join in the celebrations by allowing employees to put up decorations and exchange gifts.  Employers also like to host holiday parties filled … Continue Reading

Genetic Information: A Protected Classification for the 21st Century

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Hiring, Personnel Issues, Retaliation
In the 1997 science fiction film Gattaca, the main character Vincent lives in a futuristic world where success is based on an individual’s genetic profile instead of experience or education.  Because Vincent’s genes are considered inferior, he assumes the identity of a genetically superior man in order to avoid discrimination based on his genetics.  While … Continue Reading

EEOC Determines That Transgender Employees are Covered Under Title VII

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment
This year, in the case of Macy v. Holder, Appeal No. 0120120821 (EEOC Apr. 20, 2012), the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) ruled that transgendered persons are afforded protection from discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). Mia Macy, a transgender police detective in Phoenix, Arizona presented as a … Continue Reading

Holidays And The Workplace: Be Merry Or Bah Humbug

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Workplace Policies
The holidays are a festive time to be shared with family, friends and even coworkers.  Many employers also join in the celebrations by allowing employees to put up decorations and exchange gifts.  Employers also like to host holiday parties filled with food, music and alcohol.  However, these types of activities may create legal liability for … Continue Reading

If “Penn State” Happened Here, Would You Have A Duty To Report?

Posted in Education, Employment, Harassment, Personnel Issues, Workplace Policies
This guest post was authored by Meredith Karasch We have all heard about the scandal at Penn State that brought down college football royalty.  We cringe at what happened (or didn’t happen).  We agree there was a moral obligation to report child abuse.  However, moral obligation aside, all public and private entities need to know … Continue Reading

“Me-Too” Evidence In Harassment Case May Be Used To Impeach Alleged Perpetrator’s Denial

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment
In the case of Pantoja v. Anton, Lorraine Pantoja worked as a receptionist/secretary for a law firm owned by Thomas Anton.  Pantoja alleges that Anton would slap her buttocks, touch her buttocks and leg, and once asked for a shoulder massage.  He also referred to his employees as “my Mexicans.”  Eventually, Anton called Pantoja a “stupid … Continue Reading

Coworkers Who Simply Cannot Get Along Do Not Expose Employers To Liability For Hostile Work Environment Or Retaliation

Posted in Employment, Harassment, Retaliation
Does it ever feel like managing the workplace can be like keeping the peace between children fighting in the back seat of the family car?  This was the feeling in a recent out-of-state case where a Court held that an employer was not liable for the alleged hostile work environment created amongst bickering co-workers or … Continue Reading

10 Things Employers And Employees Should Know About Social Media

Posted in Discrimination, First Amendment, Harassment, Privacy, Social Media, Workplace Policies
This post was co-authored by Elizabeth Arce The popularity of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter have created new and unprecedented challenges for employers.  The New York Times reported recently that even commanders in our Armed Forces have expressed concern about troops playing with iPhones and BlackBerrys when they should be working.  Because the … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court’s Expansion Of Title VII Protections To Third Parties Is Just Business As Usual For California Employers

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment, Retaliation
The Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Thompson v. North American Stainless has caused some commentators to sound the alarm warning employers of employee friendly courts and impending lawsuits as a result of the decision.  Hans Bader of the Washington Examiner wrote that the Thompson decision shows the Supreme Court is not pro-business.  Tim Gould of … Continue Reading

The Bully In The Office

Posted in Harassment, Personnel Issues
It seems that every time you pick up a newspaper or tune into your local news there are stories of students being bullied by their classmates.  Last year, in particular, the news was dominated with headlines of students driven to suicide because of bullying.  For example, Rutgers University student, Tyler Clementi, killed himself after his … Continue Reading

Recent Lawsuits Fuel Debate Over Whether Appearance-Based Discrimination Should Be Illegal

Posted in Discrimination, Harassment
Two headline making lawsuits ignited a national debate over whether it should be illegal for an employer to make employment decisions based on an employee’s appearance.  The Wall Street Journal reported that Cassandra Marie Smith filed a lawsuit against her former employer, Hooters, alleging that restaurant management told her during a performance evaluation to join … Continue Reading