Phoenix Arizona Discrimination Law Blog

Did I wait too long to file a sexual harassment claim?

With the recent string of famous sexual harassment scandals more people are coming forward about their own experiences. Victims of sexual harassment may wait to report their harassers for many reasons, including safety and stable employment. Some men and women in Arizona feel that they waited too long to file their harassment claim. This blog post will go over the time limits for sexual harassment claims and what you can do to protect yourself.

But there's more to it than that...

Have you ever been to a place of business and received bad service? Sure. It happens everyday. People receive bad service. Big deal. But what happens when it's more than bad service, when you're completely denied service of your physical attributes, one of the reasons protected by law. That still happens even in this day and age.

Five myths every employee should know about FMLA

Caring for a sick family member is one of the most difficult tasks a person can experience. The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) lets employees take time off to care for a family member with a serious medical condition or because of their own serious medical issues. The FMLA also gives time off to care for a newborn child, foster care placement or adopted child.

While the FMLA entitles employees to certain rights and protections, there are restrictions. Many employees can misunderstand the limits of the FMLA and what it covers. Here we will cover these myths and tell employees what they can do if they experience issues with FMLA leave.

Will increased sexual harassment claims lead to more terminations?

Sexual harassment has been in the forefront of everyone’s minds and dominated the news cycle for much of the past few months. It has so permeated our culture that the #MeToo movement was recently named Time’s Person of the Year.

For those who don’t work in media, entertainment or politics, the key question is likely whether or not the repercussions powerful men in these industries have faced will come to pass for other harassers in their own workplaces.

Wrongful termination: Were you a victim?

There is no worse feeling than losing your job. If your employer fires you, it's important to learn more about why this happened and if you're in a position to take action against the company.

For example, you may feel that you were the victim of wrongful termination. There are many situations in which this comes into play, such as termination as the result of discrimination.

Sexual harassment victims collect millions in compensation

Arizona residents may have heard about the $32 million settlement reached by Bill O'Reilly to resolve sexual harassment allegations against him. However, this was not the largest settlement reached in a sexual harassment case. That may belong to a former employer at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento. A jury in that case awarded the victim $168 million. However, a judge reduced that amount to $82,230,484, and the case was later settled for an undisclosed amount.

In fact, O'Reilly wasn't the only person at Fox News involved in a sexual harassment case. Gretchen Carlson was awarded $20 million to settle a charge against former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. Although the award was never made public, it was confirmed by sources. Carlson alleged that her contract with Fox News was not renewed because she wouldn't sleep with Ailes.

What constitutes workplace retaliation?

Workplace retaliation happens when an employee speaks up about something, such as discrimination or harassment. It can also happen when an employee refuses to perform an illegal action on the job, or supports another employee after witnessing a wrongful action.

Retaliation involves a negative consequence -- like a dock in pay, a demotion, or a wrongful termination. In nearly every case, an employee suffers a negative result or punishment because he or she "did the right thing."

How workplace disability discrimination affects employees

Some people in Arizona who have disabilities might not disclose their conditions to their employers. This was one finding of a study conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation, which looked at workers with disabilities throughout the US as well as in other countries, including Brazil, Germany and India.

The study found that in the US, nearly one-third of people who have white-collar jobs and are college educated have a disability. Almost two-thirds of those individuals have what is known as an "invisible disability," meaning that others cannot tell just by looking at them that they have a disability. Over 33 percent of employees report negative experiences in the workplace related to their disability, including the belief that they will take longer to complete a task or will be unable to do it altogether. Reports of discrimination were higher among those who had a visible disability.

Dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a common occurrence even though it is illegal. In some cases, sexual harassment can be so pervasive that it can have an impact on workplace productivity. Some employees who experience it might quit or may fear that they could lose their job if they report the behavior.

Harassment comes in two main forms. The first is quid pro quo, which involves an employee being required to submit to sexual activities in exchange for keeping a job or getting a promotion. The second form is a hostile work environment. Sexual harassment that makes the workplace offensive, intimidating or abusive is considered to make a hostile workplace environment. Sexual harassment can include requests for sexual favors, unwelcome sexual advances, harassment that is sexual in nature and offensive remarks about a person's sex or sex life.

Ninth Circuit ruling revives hostile work case

A Ninth Circuit court ruled that a jury should look into whether preferential treatment for an alleged rapist by an employer constitutes sexual harassment of the victim. This ruling may have significant implications for Arizona workers.

In August 2011, a female employee of the Idaho Department of Corrections (IDOC) was reportedly raped outside of work. The alleged rapist was the subject of three previous complaints. However, he had not received any discipline as a result of those complaints. The man had been on administrative leave at the time of the incident while under investigation for another rape that had been reported a month prior.

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Elizabeth D. Tate, Attorney at Law
382 E. Palm Lane
Phoenix, AZ 85004

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