Tag Archives: Harassment

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Petition Seeking to Scrap McDonnell Douglas Burden-Shifting Analysis

Arguing the decades-old analysis is no longer helpful to anyone, Reginald Sprowl petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to scrap application of the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting analysis in Title VII race discrimination and retaliation claims. On January 19, 2021, the Supreme Court rejected Sprowl’s petition and denied certiorari. Sprowl v. Mercedes-Benz U.S. Int’l, Inc., 815 Fed. … Continue Reading

2021 Is Here: Time for Your Annual Employment Law Compliance Checkup

The year 2020 is finally behind us!  We might not be able to breathe a sigh of relief just yet but the beginning of a new year is still a good time to pause and review your labor and employment law compliance for the year.  COVID-19 is still with us and demanding our attention but … Continue Reading

“Me Too” Evidence in a #MeToo World

Before “#MeToo” became a movement, it was a well-known, damaging type of evidence to employers litigating discrimination claims.  “Me too” in the employment litigation context refers to evidence that employees other than the plaintiff also were also discriminated against. Employers had traditionally sought, with mixed results, to exclude such evidence as improper character evidence under … Continue Reading

A Cautionary Tale: The Importance of Implementing Proper Policies

Employers have little control over employees’ bad, impulsive decisions. However, employers have full control over how they respond to a complaint of harassment. Any employer can ensure it investigates an allegation of harassment. Failure to do so can be costly. On December 19, 2018, a Florida federal jury rendered a verdict awarding $850,000 in compensatory … Continue Reading

Former Winery Employees Awarded $11 million

Plaintiffs Megan Meadowcroft and Amanda Brown, two winery employees, alleged that they had been harassed on numerous occasions by their supervisor, General Manager Pinero. Specifically, Brown alleged that Pinero attempted to flirt with her, and physically made contact with her. Meadowcroft alleged that Pinero made sexually explicit gestures, sexually explicit comments, put his hands on … Continue Reading

Iowa Waives Appeal of $2.2 million Verdict In Favor of Settlement

On August 24, 2017 we reported that former communications director for the Iowa Senate Republican Caucus, Kristen Anderson, was awarded $2.2 million in damages by a jury that found Anderson had been fired in retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. In late September, the parties reached a settlement, pursuant to … Continue Reading

Discrimination Due To Breastfeeding: Jury Verdict Upheld in Favor of Police Officer

Affirming that breastfeeding is a medical condition related to pregnancy and that the police department’s conduct violated the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), a federal appeals court in Atlanta has upheld the jury’s verdict for a former Tuscaloosa, Alabama police officer. Hicks v. City of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, No. 16-13003 (11th Cir. Sept. 7, 2017).  Stephanie Hicks was awarded … Continue Reading

The Significance of Expert Testimony

Expert testimony can play a significant role in shaping the outcome of cases that go to trial. For example, in a case lacking witnesses or evidence that could directly support or undercut the plaintiff’s accusations of severe sexual misconduct, what stood out most was the expert testimony. On August 8, 2017, a two-week jury trial ended … Continue Reading

Sexual Harassment Case Costs Iowa Taxpayers $2.2 Million

A former staffer for the Iowa Senate Republican Caucus in Iowa has been awarded $2.2 million in damages for retaliation that will be paid from Iowa’s already-floundering general fund.  Kirsten Anderson was terminated from her position as communications director for the caucus in 2012. She alleged the termination was in retaliation for her complaints about … Continue Reading
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