Archives: Harassment

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“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

Jury Enters Sexual Harassment Verdict in Favor of Plaintiff; Awards No Damages

A jury in the Northern District of Georgia recently entered a verdict in favor of the plaintiff in a sexual harassment case, yet awarded her no damages. In Furcron v. Mail Centers Plus, LLC, a former mailroom clerk, Myra Furcron, sued her former employer, Mail Centers Plus, LLC, for sexual harassment as a result of … Continue Reading

2018 New Year’s Resolutions For Lowering the Risk of Employment Litigation

When Jackson Lewis litigation attorneys looked back at cases, trials, and verdicts from the past year, we observed how companies can make themselves less of a target for claims.  Below are some New Year’s resolutions that can help lower the risk of employment litigation: Train managers. Train employees. Keep a record of the training, including who attended. Review EEO laws and … Continue Reading

$1 Jury Verdict Yields $300,000 in Attorneys Fees to Plaintiff’s Counsel

In a case alleging sexual harassment by a researcher against a research assistant, the trial court ordered more than $300,000 in attorneys’ fees after the jury awarded a mere $1 in damages to the plaintiff. Jenkins v. The University of Minnesota et al., No. 13-CV-1548 (D. Minn. Oct. 13, 2017). The court awarded attorneys’ fees … 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

Court Grants New Trial in Sexual Harassment Case Based on Evidence of Other Complaints Against Supervisor

Despite “substantial evidence” supporting a jury’s verdict, a judge may weigh the evidence and set aside the verdict if it is contrary to the clear weight of the evidence. Federal Judge Richard A. Jones did just that in EEOC v. Trans Ocean Seafoods, Inc., No. 15-cv-01563 (W.D. Wash. Sept. 8, 2017). He granted the plaintiffs’ motion … 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

Workplace Bullying Costs State $3 Million

  A California state jury has handed down a $3 million award to a Caltrans (California Department of Transportation) employee in a case alleging harassment by supervisors.  John Barrie, a staff services analyst at Caltrans, alleged his supervisors harassed him by intentionally triggering his allergies through exposure to chemicals such as perfumes and cleaning solutions. … Continue Reading

Jury Awards $6.45 Million To Two Plaintiffs for Hostile Work Environment Claims

A jury in the Northern District of Illinois has awarded two plaintiffs $6.45 million in damages, $6 million of which was allocated to punitive damages, clearly signaling that, regardless of statutory caps, juries do not look favorably upon employers who ignore employee complaints of sexual harassment. In Davis v. Packer Engineering, Inc., No. 1:11-cv-07923, Danya … Continue Reading
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