1705 GULF TOWER
PITTSBURGH, PA 15219
412-258-2250 | OFFICE DIRECT
- Jul 6 2018 - Huge court win for #MeToo
In Minarsky v. Susquehanna County, 2018 WL 3234243 (3d Cir. July 3, 2018), the Third Circuit reversed summary judgment for the employer because a jury could find that the sexual harassment victim was reasonable in not reporting the harassment for … Continue reading
- Jun 10 2018 - We litigate sexual harassment and assault cases
Women now make up about half the U.S. workforce, yet remain underrepresented in management and in the C-suite. With smartphones, text messages, social media, there are more ways than ever for supervisors and co-workers to sexually harass women at work … Continue reading
- May 13 2018 - Forms of sexual harassment at work
Ken Cooper recently outlined what he called the “six levels” of sexual harassment. His summary is useful and worth walking through. But he omits an important feature of sexual harassment present in many, many cases: implicit or explicit threats of … Continue reading
- Apr 19 2018 - Sexual harassment ABC’s
Researchers identify at least three different forms of sexual harassment. “Gender hostility” refers to derogatory comments or actions that invoke sex or gender, rather than explicit requests for sex. Sexist hostility is specific to gender (for example, someone makes a … Continue reading
- Feb 28 2018 - Give Mayor Peduto credit and room to lead on Amazon
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette has unfairly and naively criticized Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto for his efforts to persuade Amazon to locate its second headquarters in the Steel City. His plan is too secretive, the newspaper says, as though business negotiations … Continue reading
- Feb 10 2018 - Sexual harassment takes toll on health
Epidemiologist Rebecca Thurston has spent years studying women who have suffered sexual abuse and harassment. She finds that over time, sexual harassment works like a poison, stiffening women’s blood vessels, worsening blood flow and harming the inner lining of their … Continue reading
- Feb 1 2018 - Any sexual contact without consent is sexual assault
ANY sexual contact without consent is sexual assault.
Speak out. Break the silence.
- Jan 26 2018 - Sexual harassment at work – how to take back your power
Sexual harassment can make a woman feel powerless. But you can take back your power and we can help. Call, email or text us if you have been sexually harassed at work. And in the meantime, remember these tips:
Speak … Continue reading
- Dec 9 2017 - Sexual harassment at work – what you need to know
What is workplace sexual harassment? Sexual harassment in the workplace is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of unwanted behaviors. This includes nonphysical harassment, including suggestive remarks and gestures, or requests for sexual favors. Physical harassment includes touches, hugs, kisses and coerced sex … Continue reading
- Nov 7 2017 - EEOC’s Public Portal online now
Today the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) launched an EEOC Public Portal to provide online access to individuals inquiring about discrimination.
“This secure online system makes the EEOC and an individual’s charge information available wherever and whenever it is most … Continue reading
In Minarsky v. Susquehanna County, 2018 WL 3234243 (3d Cir. July 3, 2018), the Third Circuit reversed summary judgment for the employer because a jury could find that the sexual harassment victim was reasonable in not reporting the harassment for four years. In a footnote that will be cited for years to come, the Court said:
This appeal comes to us in the midst of national news regarding a veritable firestorm of allegations of rampant sexual misconduct that has been closeted for years, not reported by the victims. It has come to light, years later, that people in positions of power and celebrity have exploited their authority to make unwanted sexual advances. In many such instances, the harasser wielded control over the harassed individual’s employment or work environment. In nearly all of the instances, the victims asserted a plausible fear of serious adverse consequences had they spoken up at the time that the conduct occurred. While the policy underlying Faragher-Ellerth places the onus on the harassed employee to report her harasser, and would fault her for not calling out this conduct so as to prevent it, a jury could conclude that the employee’s non-reporting was understandable, perhaps even reasonable. That is, there may be a certain fallacy that underlies the notion that reporting sexual misconduct will end it. Victims do not always view it in this way. Instead, they anticipate negative consequences or fear that the harassers will face no reprimand; thus, more often than not, victims choose not to report the harassment.
Recent news articles report that studies have shown that not only is sex-based harassment in the workplace pervasive, but also the failure to report is widespread. Nearly one-third of American women have experienced unwanted sexual advances from male coworkers, and nearly a quarter of American women have experienced such advances from men who had influence over the conditions of their employment, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll from October of 2017. Most all of the women who experienced harassment report that the male harassers faced no consequences. ABC News/Washington Post, Unwanted Sexual Advances: Not Just a Hollywood Story (Oct. 17, 2017), www.langerresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/…
Additionally, three out of four women who have been harassed fail to report it. A 2016 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Select Task Force study found that approximately 75 percent of those who experienced harassment never reported it or filed a complaint, but instead would “avoid the harasser, deny or downplay the gravity of the situation, or attempt to ignore, forget, or endure the behavior.” EEOC Select Task Force, Harassment in the Workplace, at v (June 2016), www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/task_force/harassment/upload/… Those employees who faced harassing behavior did not report this experience “because they fear[ed] disbelief of their claim, inaction on their claim, blame, or social or professional retaliation.” Id.; see also Stefanie Johnson, et al., Why We Fail to Report Sexual Harassment, Harvard Business Review (Oct. 4, 2016), hbr.org/2016/10/why-we-fail-to-report-sexual-harassment (women do not report harassment because of retaliation fears, the bystander effect, and male-dominated work environments).