Daily Archives: October 6, 2009

Why David Letterman Could Face a Hostile Work Environment Lawsuit

Following David Letterman’s admission of having sex with Stephanie Birkitt and several of his other employees, David Letterman might find himself facing sexual harassment and hostile work environment lawsuits from his employees on the grounds of favoritism. 

On the CBS Early Show Saturday, CBS legal analyst Lisa Bloom said, “… [U]nder sexual harassment law, there is a claim for harassment if somebody can come forward and say, ‘The boss was sleeping with other employees [and] they got favors and advantages that I didn’t get.”

Bloom added, “Nobody has raised a claim, but there’s always that issue lingering out there.  So, this is why every company in the United States has a policy that an employer should not be having sexual relations with a subordinate, because it has the potential to create a hostile work environment.”


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St. Louis Rams Pays $134,000 to Settle Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

The EEOC announced that the St. Louis Rams has agreed to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit that was filed against the NFL team for firing a veteran trainer, Ron DuBuque, because he has epilepsy.

The Rams will pay $134,000 to settle the lawsuit and has agreed to employ DuBuque as a Rehabilitation Specialist for two years.  DuBuque had been an assistant trainer with the Rams for 11 years before he was fired, and he had been diagnosed with epilepsy years before he started working for the NFL team.

EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru said, “As this case and many others show, disability does not mean inability.  All employers should make workplace decisions based on merit and qualifications to do the job, rather than on myths, fears, or stereotypes associated with a person’s disability.”


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EEOC Sues Country Inn for Sexual Harassment

The EEOC has filed a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against 5042 Holdings Ltd., doing business as The Country Inn at Berkeley Springs.  Two male employees allegedly subjected Candace Bland and other female Country Inn workers, including several teenagers, to ongoing and offensive sexual harassment during 2007 and 2008.

The EEOC lawsuit claims that the male employees repeatedly used offensive language and engaged in offensive and unwelcome touching of the women, including grabbing their breasts, slapping their buttocks, and kissing them.

After Bland and the other female employees complained to the owners of Country Inn at Berkeley Springs, Stjepan Sostaric and Nancy Sostaric, as well as to other managers, they did not take adequate measures to stop the harassment and hostile work environment.  Furthermore, after Bland filed a complaint with the EEOC, the work hours of the women who complained about the harassment were drastically reduced.

“It is unacceptable for an employer to punish employees who complain about sexual harassment by reducing their work hours and thereby reducing their income. Retaliation like this has a chilling effect on those who choose to exercise their federally protected rights and is blatantly illegal,” said EEOC Acting Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence.


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Job Interview Tip: Google Your Potential Boss

The following is a post from one of our guest bloggers:

When you see the headline “Job Interview TipGoogle your Potential Boss”, you must be wondering what eBossWatch is referring to?  Well, let me tell you about a personal experience from last year.  

Given the current economic condition, we are in what is referred to as an employer’s market.  I was invited into an interview in a major city and I when I saw the agenda, I could not believe the schedule.  It was an all-day interview, which lead me to believe they were just using that time to find things wrong with candidates and to be overly critical.  Nonetheless, I went to the interview and was appalled to discover that another candidate for the same role had been invited there for the same time – a big red flag and inappropriate. 

I went through the all-day job interview without being offered lunch and was dying to get home.  The potential boss seemed amiable, but I believe he went overboard for this easy position.  His name was very distinctive and he told me where he used to live.  When I returned home from the job interview, I Googled this boss and this is the headline that I found of an article about him from a major newspaper:  “Candidate charged with indecent exposure in ’97”

Anyway, I never heard back from that company, and it was probably a blessing in disguise. 


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