09/23/2008 - A police department violated the privacy rights of its officers, a federal appeals court ruled, when it obtained transcripts of text messages sent and received by those officers. Department officials had previously told officers that the text messages were confidential.
08/26/2008 - A landmark New York City restaurant, Tavern on the Green, has agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle a harassment claim brought by the government, which said the harassment was severe and pervasive.
07/28/2008 - In a settlement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), a company that fuels planes at airports has agreed to pay $1.9 million to black and Hispanic employees who claim they were discriminated against. Though the company admitted no wrongdoing, it also agreed to conduct sensitivity and diversity training as part of the agreement. According to the EEOC, company employees waved KKK membership cards at black and Hispanic employees. Also, nooses and drawings of swastikas were common, and Hispanic employees were forced to ride in the back of shuttle buses. One employee, Francisco Ochoa, went to his manager to complain about the discrimination. Ochoa saw himself drawn in a racially offensive cartoon that had been placed under glass on the manager’s desk.
07/28/2008 - An Illinois appellate court has ruled that the parents of a child molested by her school bus driver can proceed with her lawsuit against the school. The school argued that it was not a common carrier and could not, therefore, be held liable for Green’s claims of negligent hiring, assault and battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. (Under state law common carriers are liable for the wrongdoing of employees regardless of whether that employee was acting within the scope of employment.) The court ruled that the school was not a common carrier but, because of the special nature of its relationship to students, it owed an even higher duty of care to the plaintiff’s daughter.
06/23/2008 - The federal government did not discriminate against a job applicant when it hired a younger person instead, a district court ruled, because the applicant had not proved that he was qualified for the job.
06/23/2008 - A company that failed to intercede while an employee sexually harassed numerous women over a 10-year period can be held liable for creating a hostile work environment and for the employee’s retaliation against his victims.
05/28/2008 - Employees who fill out an intake questionnaire with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission preserve their right to pursue a federal discrimination lawsuit against an employer, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled.