Hostile work environment

One of the more difficult problems for employers is harassment by unknown co-workers. The law was designed for harassment by supervisors. It functions not so well when the harassment is caused by co-workers. In Tolliver v. YRC, Inc., No. 17-10294, 2018 US LEXIS 17806 (5th Cir. 6/28/2018), African-American workers were harassed in various ways

Sexual harassment cases are complicated. The legal standard is that harassment by co-workers which is “severe or pervasive” will constitute a hostile work environment – if of course, management knows about the harassment and does nothing. But, what happens when the harasser is a customer? If an employer is aware of the harassment and does

In a recent decision, the Fifth Circuit overruled Judge Lynn Hughes, again. The Fifth Circuit reversed Judge Hughes’ grant of summary judgment on several claims. The claims started when Karen D’Onofrio left Vacations to Go, the largest seller of ocean-going cruises in the world. Karen was a sales representative for Vacations. After a couple of

Many workers believe they have been subjected to discriminatory comments by co-workers. Harassment by co-workers is sometimes referred to as a hostile work environment. It does not become actionable until management becomes aware of the harassment and fails to take action. But, what if the perceived discrimination is not necessarily discrimination? In Barnes v. Prairie

The Fifth Circuit has apparently decided that an employer will get a free pass when a supervisor makes one and only one racist comment. The supervisor was a co-worker of Courtney Satterwhite when he made the comment. Harry Singh, according to Mr. Satterwhite, uttered “Heil Hitler” during a conversation, at which a Jewish worker was

The law must reflect the everyday reality of all Americans.  If the law is not grounded in reality, it is no longer "the law."  It becomes something oppressive.  Judge Tate, a long-time judge on the Fifth Circuit, used to say that an appellate decision should make sense to a barber in Ville Platte, Louisiana.  He

 Many employers completely prohibit relationships between management and subordinates.  The military has some complicated rules regulating relationships and it too prohibits relationships between those with very different ranks.  But, studies show, nevertheless, that relationships continue in the workplace.  The workplace remains a prime source of marriage partners.  But, the problems developing in the wake of

 I have been in the trenches, too long.  II have been representing employees in their struggle for justice and vindication, too long.   After all these years, I tend to look at judges in terms of how they will look at employment lawsuits.  I should be more balanced, but have to admit that I am