In a case straight from “Bad Grandpa” the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals further confirmed an employer’s obligation to provide a work environment free of all forms of discrimination and harassment. In Chavonya Watson v. Heartland Health Laboratories, the 8th Circuit “assumed” for sake of analysis that an employer can be held liable under the Missouri Human Rights Act (“MHRA”) for harassment by a third-party who is not an employee. Ultimately, however, the 8th Circuit found that the incidents of harassments did not rise to the level of “hostile work environment” and affirmed summary judgment on behalf of the employer.
Is it enough that an employee who is being harassed complains only to the harasser? The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals says yes, it is enough.
A New York court recently entered a judgment of about $700,000 against the owner of a limousine company for sexually harassing a female dispatcher. The judgment consisted of $450,000 in compensatory damages, $100,000 in punitive damages, $167,478 in attorney fees and $3,168 in litigation costs. The case presents an almost classic example of sexual harassment.
Public Act 98-1037 will take effect January 1, 2015. The Act amends the Illinois Human Rights Act (775 ILCS 5). Illinois has joined the emerging trend providing protection against sexual harassment for unpaid interns who, on January 1, will be covered under the definition of “employee” for purposes of the Act’s prohibition against sexual harassment….