Win or lose, employees are required to split the cost of arbitration under an arbitration agreement. The Eleventh Circuit found the agreement unenforceable because it violates Title VII’s fee shifting when plaintiff prevails.
Employers often ask trial courts to dismiss cases which don’t have enough ammo to get to a jury. The U.S. Supreme Court now says cases may not be dismissed simply because they don’t present direct evidence of discrimination.
Three Hispanic painters worked 3 weeks, and while in the office for 15 minutes a day, they were subjected to racial slurs. The District Court dismissed the case, holding that there was not enough time for the harassment to be pervasive. The 10th Circuit reversed, holding that based on a totality of the circumstance analysis, a jury could find the harassment pervasive.
A consensual sexual relationship ends and the female employee receives her first negative evaluation. She then complained to Human Resources. Her sexual harassment case fails because she was harassed due to a failed relationship, not her gender. The retaliation claim fails because the negative evaluation came before the complaint to Human Resources.
Allegations of men barging into the women’s locker room, simulated sex acts with a microphone and breast groping gives plaintiff the right to a jury trial on her sexually hostile environment claim. However, rebuffed requests for sexual favors did not state a quid pro quo claim when plaintiff’s response to the requests was not used as the basis for a decision affecting terms or conditions of employment.
A male university lecturer sued after not being selected to interview for a new position. The case was dismissed because he “needs more than his own convictions” to prove reverse gender discrimination. He needs “evidence that there is something ‘fishy’ about the facts at hand.”
A former union officer sued a UFCW Local for sexual harassment. The Union stated that it did not have the 15 jurisdictionally-required employees to be covered by Title VII, arguing that the stewards were volunteers and received income from their regular employer, not the Union. The Eighth Circuit found the stewards to be employees under Title VII because the Union controlled their termination and hiring, controlled the manner and means by which they performed their duties and because they did receive some benefits from the union.
An employee with a metal plate in his head was routinely called “platehead.” He sued for disability-based harassment after his discharge. The Eighth Circuit found that disability-based harassment is unlawful, but dismissed the case because the repeated comment was not severe and extreme.
A Federal Court overturns a $1 million punitive damages award under the New York City Code. NYC had not waived its sovereign immunity from punitive damages. Punitive damages are not available against municipalities unless there is legislative intent to permit such damages.