Category Archives: Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment Victims: Why Don’t They Speak Up?

The news is flooded with reports of sexual harassment and victims finally coming forward after decades, for some, of silence.  Why?  Having cut my teeth on sexual harassment laws and regulations since the early 1980s and watched its ups and downs, one dynamic has remained consistent.  Victims do not come forward when the harassment first occurs.  Employers invest in training programs for all employees to educate on what sexual harassment is and what the complaint process is and assure employees that retaliation is forbidden.  It is that last aspect of the program that simply does not ring true for many …

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Resolutions for a Harassment Free New Year

Dear Clients, Colleagues and Friends: The year 2017 marked a seismic shift in the way the nation views sexual harassment. Time Magazine named “the silence breakers” as its Persons of the Year.  The words “me too” went from a simple phrase, to a hashtag, to a movement.  And, a deluge of claims of sexual misconduct and harassment exposed and toppled the giants of Hollywood, the news media, government, and so many other high profile industries.   While some employers may take comfort in the fact that the stories of sexual misconduct and harassment that dominate the news involve the rich, the …

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Calling all Office Romeos…to Sexual Harassment Training

In television courtroom drama style, all over the legal news this past week we’ve seen updates from the trial in Marchuk v. Faruqi & Faruqi (Case No. 1:13-cv-01669, S.D.N.Y), a case brought by a junior female associate against her former law firm.  In an ode to what we would like to think as “days [long] gone by,” the associate alleged that in the few months she was employed with the firm, a firm partner engaged in repeated sexual harassment of her and then sexually assaulted her at the firm holiday party.  Faruqi defended on the grounds that all sexual interaction …

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Keeping Sexual Harassment Off the Menu

In popular portrayals of sexual harassment such as the hit TV series “Mad Men,” the perpetrators tend to be leering bosses. While sexual harassment certainly is a problem in corporate environments, the office might not always be the likeliest setting for this behavior. In fact, with their late hours, close quarters, free-flowing alcohol and mix of older patrons and younger staff, restaurants bring together a number of risk factors that arguably make the occurrence of sexual harassment more likely. This is an important consideration for independent restaurateurs and chains in the Northeast, where states such as Massachusetts have enacted stringent laws on …

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Holiday Parties: Proceed With Caution

Because of the liability exposure inherent in holiday parties, many employers have decided to forego hosting such events.  For the employers who will host holiday events, the planning may have already started.  In either scenario, the time is right for employers to review their policies and practices to ensure protection from certain risks presented by employer-sponsored holiday parties. The following are recommendations to assist in careful planning and hosting of holiday parties: Employer’s Handbook – Review policies for employer‑sponsored social functions.  These policies should include harassment policies specifically addressing employer‑sponsored social events such as holiday parties.  Further, the employer should …

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