April 24, 2014

What Is Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment?

Quid Pro Quo is Latin and stand for the proposition of "this for that." In the context of sexual harassment it refers to a situation where the boss tell you to have sex in return for favorable employment consideration. So if you have sex with the boss something good work related will happen to you. Of course this creates a hostile work environment for everyone else at work. If this happens to you at work, there are things you can do to protect yourself.

First, you should contact an employment attorney who concentrates in sexual harassment cases. Second, you should try and save any text messages or emails. If you do come forward the burden is on you to prove this actually happened. The boss doesn't have to disprove the allegations against him. You have to prove the allegations against the boss, so keep that in mind.

April 23, 2014

Health Care Company Settles ADA Lawsuit For $180,000

Upper Chesapeake Health System, Inc. pays $180,000 to settle an American With Disabilities Act ("Act") lawsuit. The discrimination and retaliation lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). According to documents which have been made public, Deborah Ropiski consistently received good performance evaluations and positive patient feedback during her 19 years of employment with the company.

The company failed to reassign Ropiski as a reasonable accommodation after it removed her from her position as a pulmonary function technologist . The company terminated Ropiski because of her disability and in retaliation for her requests for accommodations.
the company also failed to rehire Ropiski into a vacant position for which she was qualified because of her disability and in retaliation for her filing a discrimination charge with the EEOC.

"This is yet another case we brought involving a claim that an employer in the health care field refused to provide a reasonable accommodation to an employee with a disability." said EEOC attorney Spencer H. Lewis, Jr.

April 22, 2014

Chicago Commission On Human Relations and Sexual Harassment

So you are working in downtown Chicago and you have been subjected to sexual harassment. You are unsure of what you should do next? Should you just tell human resources and then move on? Should you file a complaint with a government agency? One option you have is to file with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations. This agency will investigate your sexual harassment complaint and if appropriate, award you damages. So what is an advantage of filing here?

The Chicago Commission on Human Relations can award damages in the form of punitive damages. This gives you an advantage over other venues. Of course, each case is different so an attorney who concentrates in employment law can give you a better idea of what to do. The most important thing to do is something. Don't be passive and let the harassing employee get away with it. You have rights in the workplace. Take action and don't be a victim.

April 21, 2014

Sexual Harassment At Universities

So you are at college trying to get your degree and mind your own business. However, a professor or other high ranking school employee is trying to enter into a sexual relationship with you. You are unsure what to do. You don't want to cause any problems and are afraid to report it. What if you are not believed and your grades suffer? What happens if one of your professors finds out and take action against you and you can't prove it? These are all issues that a student faces. So what if anything can you do?

Well first, what is taking place is sexual harassment under the law in Illinois. You have a right to file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR"). The IDHR will complete an investigation and then you will have the right to go to trial on your issue. You are paying good money to attend a university and the school needs to properly supervise and train its' employees. Don't be the victim of school sexual harassment, take action and hold the university accountable.

April 20, 2014

Strad Oilfield Services Settles Discrimination Lawsuit For $65,000

Strad Oilfield Services pays $65,000 to settle an Americans With Disability Act ("ADA") lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). According to the ADA you can't treat an employee different based on her or her disability. A reasonable accommodation must be made to an employee who needs one and can support the accommodation with a doctors note.

In this case Strad fired an employee shortly after it learned of his diabetes, ignoring the fact that the employee was still able to perform the job according to a fitness-for-duty test. Many employers just don't understand the discrimination laws in the country. It is important that employers follow the law and don't treat employees differently.

"Employers who ignore the law's requirement to make a good-faith effort to accommodate employees with disabilities are just causing more trouble for their own business." said EEOC attorney Julie Schmid
April 17, 2014

Can I Be Fired For Reporting Sexual Harassment?

So you are working hard and going about your business. The boss is engaging in sexual harassment of another employee and you witness it almost daily. You don't know if you should get involved or not. What happens if you report the sexual harassment? Can anything bad happen to you for reporting this to human resources? Well the answer is, nothing is suppose to happen to you. Under the law, if you report sexual harassment and any negative job actions occurs as a result, it is called retaliation and it is illegal. Even though nothing bad is suppose to happen, often times that isn't the case.

Many times, the boss will treat the reporting employee in a negative fashion and may even fire that person. That is why it is very important for you to contact an employment attorney if you feel you are being victimized at work. Many times the company will only look after its' best interests not yours. Sexual harassment occurs at work often and sometimes it is hard to get involved with trying to stop it. Just know that you have rights if you do decide to get involved.

April 16, 2014

Riviera Consulting & Management Consulting, LLC Settles Discrimination Lawsuit For $100,000

Riviera Consulting & Management Consulting, LLC pays $100,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit The lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). According to published accounts a former employee was fired because of his vision impairment. Farhang Dahmubed was hired and then quickly fired as a senior bookkeeper at Riviera Consulting & Management Consulting, LLC within one month because of his retinitis pigments. The company did not try to provide a reasonable accommodation for his newly created job duties related to driving.

The lawsuit was filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"). Under the Act, an employer must make a reasonable accommodation for an employee with a disability. In this case the employer could have found a way to allow all parties to be happy. It is too bad that employers let good workers go because they are narrow minded in their thinking.

"This settlement is a great result, because bringing on an independent EEO consultant increases the likelihood that positive changes will made to ensure that employees do not suffer disability discrimination and that employees can clearly request accommodations under the law." said EEOC Attorney William R. Tamayo
April 14, 2014

Sexual Harassment By A Professor

So you are attending college in Chicago and your professor seems to be taking an unusual interest in you. He begins to ask personal questions and singles you out from the other students. He now asks for your cell-phone number under the guise of needing to contact you on something school related. However, he begins to send you text messages at night and they are of a personal nature. It is obvious to you that he wants a sexual relationship with you. What if anything can you do? Well, under the law in Illinois, you could file a claim of school sexual harassment with the Illinois Department of Human Rights ("IDHR").

It has been my experience that most colleges and universities do a bad job of supervising their professors. And most professors that engage in the sexual harassment of students are repeat offenders. Most haven't been caught before, but usually, once a complaint is filed, other students come forward. it is very important for you to save any text messages and to documents anything you think will be helpful. Remember, you paid good money to attend school, not to be victimized by a professor.

April 12, 2014

Sexual Harassment Case At The Illinois Human Rights Commission

So you filed your sexual harassment case and it is now before an administrative law Judge at the Illinois Human Rights Commission ("IHRC"). What can you expect to happen now that the case is moving forward? Well the IHRC has its' own set of rules governing how the case will proceed. Many lawyers are not familiar with the rules of the IHRC and that can be a huge disadvantage for them. Some of the discovery rules are the same at other venues and some of the rules aren't. For example, at the IHRC you are not allowed to take any depositions without leave of the Court. And unless you can show a compelling reason for taking the deposition, you won't be allowed to. It isn't enough to just complain that you want to take a deposition. It is my experience, that you should file multiple sets of interrogatories and requests for documents and only then if more information is needed, can you ask for a deposition

Another issue that comes up at the IHRC is the number of interrogatories, requests to admits and requests for production of documents. In circuit court, you are limited by the Illinois Supreme Court rules. However, at the IHRC there is no limit on the number of requests you can make. It does make sense to not file frivolous requests and if you do the Judge may limit the number. The reason you can ask unlimited numbers of requests is because you can't take depositions, so you need to get more information than you normally would from the written requests. If you are going to have a case at the IHRC, you should make sure you have an aggressive employment lawyer, who knows the rules and can guide your case from start to finish.

April 10, 2014

Sexual Harassment Investigations

So you are working hard and minding your own business but the boss keeps engaging in sexual harassment. He won't leave you alone. You are tired on putting up with it and finally you report the conduct to human resources. What can you expect to happen next? Well, much of it will depend on the company. Some companies do a good job and take the allegations seriously. Others, could care less and will try to sweep the whole thing under the rug. So you have to be ready for both types of companies.

If you decide to file a complaint you must make sure you have as much evidence as possible. Evidence could be text messages, emails, or co-workers who are willing to come forward. You also have to make sure you talk with an employment lawyer and protect your rights to file a complaint with one of the government agencies. The most important thing to do is stand up to the harasser and fight for your rights.

April 9, 2014

Ventura Corporation Settles Discrimination Lawsuit For $354,250

Ventura Corporation settles a gender discrimination lawsuit for $354,250. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") after initial settlement talks failed. According to published accounts the company engaged in a pattern or practice of refusing to hire men as Zone Managers and Support Managers. This is an unusual gender discrimination case as it involved discrimination against men. In this case Ventura promoted Erick Zayas into a Zone Manager position after he complained about its discriminatory practices, only to set him up for failure and termination in retaliation for his opposition to Ventura's sex-based hiring practices.

Once the company was involved in litigation, it did some things that were not proper. The company was responsible for the loss or destruction of a great deal of critical evidence supporting the case. The disappeared evidence included job applications from qualified male applicants for the positions at issue and e-mails from key decision makers. This is referred to as the spoliation of evidence. Usually, an attorney will send out a preservation of evidence letter once the case starts. In this case the EEOC asked the court to award sanctions against the company based on the apparent destruction of evidence. This helped settle the case.

"This case is another reminder that federal law protects both men and women from gender discrimination." said EEOC Attorney Robert E. Weisberg
April 8, 2014

Weight Watchers Settles Pregnancy Discrimination Lawsuit For $45,000

The WW Group., Inc., doing business as Weight Watchers, pays $45,000 to settle a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit. The discrimination lawsuit was filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), on behalf of a pregnant job applicant. According to published accounts, the Weight Watchers' Farmington Hills location violated federal law when it refused to hire an applicant as a group leader because she was pregnant. To make matters worse, the applicant was a lifetime member of Weight Watchers who had successfully met and maintained her weight goals before becoming pregnant. Wow that is some really messed up stuff. What planet were these management people on?

When Weight Watchers learned of the applicant's pregnancy, it told her that it did not hire pregnant women and refused to consider her any further. This is a clear violation of the law and as you can see it cost the company some money. Not only did they have to pay, but also the company was subjected to some very negative publicity.

"Under the PDA, pregnant applicants have the right to fair and equal consideration for employment." said EEOC attorney Omar Weaver