It is somewhat like adding insult to injury when a termination follows a sexual harassment complaint. These discriminatory actions are prohibited by employment law and businesses who do not comply by addressing a situation properly when sexual misconduct. It is the responsibility of the worker to report the sexual harassment or hostile work environment, and then it is the company’s responsibility to investigate and take appropriate measures to protect their workers. Company’s who do not adequately protect employees can be sued by employees who have been discriminated against. Sadly, some companies retaliate against the person reporting the misconduct. Employment lawyers such as Tayeb Hyderally educate businesses and their employees on employment law. When companies do not comply or fail to properly protect their employees, expert employment law attorneys like Ty Hyderally are prepared to successfully litigate.
A recent employment law case involving sexual harassment and retaliation occurred in Southeast Texas. A woman was working at Excel maintenance Services Inc. where she states that she was constantly subjected to sexual harassment and a hostile environment along with illegal retaliation. Ruby Thomas stated in her suit which was filed in a Galveston federal court, that she was the object of verbal and physical actions involving harassment while she was employed as a bagging operator at the facility.
Ms. Thomas alleged that the foreman requested sexual favors, touched her inappropriately and made many lewd comments. However, the company took no immediate action in order to correct, prevent or in any way address the alleged misconduct. She stated that she reported the abuse to her superiors in 2010 and she was immediately placed on a paid leave of absence so that an investigation could be conducted. Stated in her original petition is that the supervisor who was accused of the inappropriate sexual actions began to retaliate against her when she returned to work by assigning her to work in undesirable, remote or dangerous locations which also secluded her from her fellow employees.
On April 119, 2011 Ms. Thomas was terminated for an alleged accident while operating a forklift. Her suit claims that it is in retaliation and a “pretext for illegal discrimination.” The suit also states that other workers were in similar “accidents” and in violation of safety regulations but were not treated as severely. Ms. Thomas states that she had maintained a spotless work record before her termination and she is seeking for monetary damages as well as a jury trial.
Ty Hyderally and other employment law attorneys will be waiting to see the outcome of this case which involves two alleged infractions of employment law. It is important that employees retain their right to report a hostile work environment, sexual harassment or other abuse in the workplace without fearing retaliation from those who are responsible for protecting these rights and maintaining a safe workplace for all workers. If the allegations are accurate the company will likely be penalized and pay damages to Ms. Thomas. Employers should be held responsible for the actions of employees and take immediate action to investigate in the event abuse is reported.
It is very important for every employee and employer to be fully aware of the various aspects of employment law. Tayeb Hyderally is an expert NJ employment lawyer who has made it his business for several years to educate both about the importance of keeping the workplace free from discriminatory or retaliatory practices. Many would like to think that these types of things do not occur in our world, and that somehow we have grown past them; however, that sadly is not true. It takes the expertise of lawyers like Ty Hyderally to sort it all out for us and keep us informed in the vast world of employment law.
The Sandusky trial is over and he has been found guilty of 46 separate counts. But the legal battles are still continuing inside the courtroom for Mike McQueary. However, Mike McQueary is the assistant football coach whose testimony of seeing Mr. Sandusky engaged in inappropriate actions with a young boy in the Penn State locker room has filed a suit with his attorney stated he has an employment dispute. He filed the suit in the courts as a whistleblower case. McQueary alleges that once he blew the whistle on Jerry Sandusky by reporting the infractions he witnessed, that he subsequently was fired from his position. Of course, Penn State’s response is that they had other reasons behind his termination stating he did not complete the job-related tasks that were assigned to him. This is turning out to be a standard whistleblower case.
A whistleblower is someone who witnesses and reports a wrongdoing at the workplace. It can be someone who did not follow policy, or any sort of infraction that is reported. Whistleblowers are protected from retaliatory actions by their superiors. This does not always have to be termination; it can be a reduction in pay, being moved to another less appropriate department, a reduction of job responsibilities or seclusion of any kind. Instead of praising an employee for pointing out an area that needs attention and change they retaliate against the employee. However the biggest challenge for his McQueary’s lawyer will be to prove that he was retaliated against because of some form of lawful or legally protected conduct.
McQueary may not be able to file the case under the federal whistleblower protection law since he was not considered a federal employee. But he will most likely pursue it under the whistleblower protection laws enacted in the state of Pennsylvania. There is a set time frame for being able to file this type of suit against a former employer and he was close to this deadline when he filed his official suit against Penn State. Now that he has filed within the given time frame he will more than likely be asked for a “Rule to Show Cause” within 20 days.
Whistleblower cases have increased over the last few years and many states have revamped and strengthened the laws pertaining to whistleblower protection. It is certain that the eyes and ears of the nation will be tuned in to see how this employment law case turns out in the end.
Many times when situations pertaining to discrimination law are not handled quickly or properly they can escalate far beyond reasonable circumstances. The extreme situations that can occur in the area of employment law are precisely why many legal experts such as Tayeb Hyderally pursued their careers in the first place. Ty Hyderally is an expert in the field of employment law and successfully litigates many types of cases regarding discrimination law. When it comes to discrimination cases, nothing is cut and dried, each case must be evaluated on the existing circumstances and what would be reasonable in the particular work environment.
Sharon Kaytor was an employee at Electric Boat Corporation when according to her allegations Daniel McCarthy, her boss, sexually harassed her. Mr. McCarthy made many statements that were sexual in context. Some of these inappropriate comments were in regards to her gynecologist. He made very suggestive statements. Ms. Kaytor also filed some claims that were not related to sexual discrimination. She claims that Mr. McCarty said he wanted to choke her and wanted to see her in a coffin. He made these types of statements frequently throughout each work week.
Ms. Kaytor’s case was dismissed by the trial court citing that she did not have enough proof of the sexual harassment allegations made against Mr. McCarthy. The court stated that she lacked evidence that the harassment occurred frequently enough and was not severe enough to create a work environment that was hostile. They did not include the death threats in the case with her claim of sexual harassment. These statements were not included as they were not sexual in nature. They also dismissed her claim of retaliation.
According to Kaytor she filed a sexual harassment claim with the HR department and the next day she was transferred to another position. In the transfer she lost many of her previous job responsibilities, had very little work and she was isolated. She also claimed that there were changes made to her work hours and that she had to attend various unrelated meetings with HR. These actions seemed to be in retaliation to her complaint. The trial court did not agree with Ms. Kaytor. However, the Second Circuit did.
The Second Circuit ruled that even though she failed to prove sexual harassment based on her gender. They also found that even though his death threats against her were not sexual in nature and did not refer to her gender, they cited that when it was considered with all the evidence it could be determined that he threatened her because of her gender.
Ms. Kaytor was also given an opportunity to provide evidence for her claim of retaliation. A jury can find that a demotion where work is reassigned and responsibilities are reduced can be retaliatory. It noted that the demotion came immediately following her complaint to the HR department. Any demotion can be an act of retaliation even if a job title or salaries are not lowered. The trouble with retaliatory actions in a company is that it discourages others from coming forward with other harassment or discrimination claims. A jury trial was granted for Ms. Kaytor since it could be possible that the company was harassing her.
Ty Hyderally maintains law offices in two states. He litigates various cases dealing with employment law in New Jersey and New York. Tayeb Hyderally pursued a career in employment law because of the diversity it represented. He has successfully litigated many cases and also speaks on these issues to keep employees and employers aware of their rights and responsibilities. The broad scope of employment law brings up cases such as this one in which the EEOC sued Arizona Logistics.
Arizona Logistics, Inc. and its management company were doing business as DSI Arizona. They agreed to pay a settlement in a sexual harassment case where five former employees were subjected to sexual harassment in the work place.
The Regional Director, Mark Berault subjected female employees to offensive sexual harassment. EEOC alleged that he had sexually assaulted some of the women involved in the case as well as engaged in indecent exposure, and unwelcome touching of said individuals. He had made sexually explicit remarks to them as well as showing them photos of his private parts. Although DSI Arizona was informed about the sexually hostile work place the company did not take prompt or effective action.
The EEOC filed the suit against the company after first trying to reach a settlement before beginning litigation. There was eventually a settlement that was reached which required DSI Arizona and Norlyn to pay compensation to the victims in the amount of $175,000. The company is prohibited from ever rehiring Mark Berault and must immediately investigate any other complaints of sexual harassment. As part of the settlement, DSI Arizona also agreed to provide adequate training for all managers or supervisors on how to conduct an investigation when there are sexual harassment allegations. The company must also create and post a zero tolerance policy stating that sexual harassment of employees will not be tolerated. They also had to provide a letter of regret to each of those who were victimized in this case.
EEOC Regional Attorney Mary J O’Neill stated about this case, “This was an outrageous case of sexual harassment involving a supervisor who preyed upon vulnerable female employees, subjecting them to some of the most extreme forms of sexual harassment. We hope this settlement sends a message to employers that the EEOC will act to ensure compliance with the law.”
The EEOC is the organization responsible for enforcing employment discrimination laws.