Philadelphia Employment Law News

Sexual Harassment / Workplace Harassment in Philadelphia

Workplace harassment can take many forms. However, sexual harassment is typically the most-publicized type of harassment in the media. Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination, and it includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature in the workplace. Both Pennsylvania and federal laws protect workers from sexual harassment.

Further, there are constantly new developments and changes in sexual and workplace harassment laws. If you have any concerns regarding your rights under the law, seek counsel from an experienced Philadelphia Employment attorney. An experienced attorney can provide more information about employment laws, as well as legal actions you may want to take.

Recently in Sexual Harassment / Workplace Harassment Category

Can You Fire Someone For Not Smiling?

Marie Rogai, the former principal of Cardinal O'Hara High School, has filed a lawsuit against Archdiocese of Philadelphia alleging that she was fired for not smiling enough, according to

Most positions are at-will employment, which means that employers can pretty much terminate your job at any time for almost any reason.

However, even if the employment is at-will, employers can still be sued for wrongful termination if they fire a worker for illegal reasons.

Should Your Business Have a 'No Fraternization' Policy?

With love in the air this week, businesses might be considering a "no fraternization" policy for the workplace.

The Carl Greene case a few years back may ring a bell for Philadelphia business owners. Greene was found to be a "serial sexual harasser" who allegedly quickly promoted a woman and later demoted her after he found out she was dating another employee.

To avoid workplace romance issues like Greene's, it might be best to have a "no fraternization" policy in place.

Alycia Lane's Lawsuit Against Former Employer Tossed

It looks like Alycia Lane’s lawsuit against her employer won’t stand. According to Philebrity, a Philadelphia judge has thrown out a lawsuit brought by the former CBS Philadelphia news anchor after she was dismissed by the Philadelphia CBS affiliate.

Her lawsuit alleged defamation but went back the theory of wrongful dismissal and the idea that her employer could have done a better job protecting her from the alleged invasion of privacy she endured at the hands of a coworker.

In her lawsuit, Lane alleges that her former co-host hacked into her email account, leaking private information. Some of this information involved an arrest in New York. The man behind the hacking: Larry Mendte, who alleges that he was also Lane’s former lover.

Prevent Sexual Harassment During the Holidays

With the holidays coming up, a little bit of egg-nog and some mistletoe can go a long way. All the way to a sexual harassment lawsuit, that is.

So with the holidays approaching, what can employers do to protect themselves from these lawsuits? And what do employees need to know about what is appropriate and what constitutes sexual harassment?

Handling Difficult People is Key to Surviving a Toxic Workplace

Many job-related problems could be avoided if we knew how to manage difficult people. If we could nip the problem in the bud, then we wouldn't have the need to go to a lawsuit.

And even if an employment lawsuit is inevitable, there are still ways to arm yourself gracefully, while gathering the evidence needed for your lawsuit. The truth is that the grounds for a wrongful dismissal lawsuit start well in advance. For instance, maybe you have a difficult boss and that boss starts making your life a living hell.

Graham Spanier, the Alleged Sandusky Cover-Up, and Retaliation

More news regarding the Penn State/Jerry Sandusky scandal. Reports are now emerging that Graham B. Spanier has been charged with eight criminal counts including obstruction of justice, perjury, and endangering a child, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Spanier was president of Pennsylvania State University before the Sandusky scandal blew up.

According to Pennsylvania State Attorney General Linda Kelly, Spanier's inaction was not inadvertence and oversight, but rather part of a "conspiracy of silence by top officials at Penn State."

Unisys, Insight Sued for Alleged Discrimination, Harassment

With Google and its mantra of "do no evil," the public may have a rosy view of tech companies as being above labor disputes and employee complaints. They're getting free meals and foosball, so what can they be complaining about?

However, companies are companies and people are people. Because of that, there's bound to be problems -- the most recent being a computer technician for Unisys Corp. and Insight Enterprises who claims she was harassed by her co-workers because of her race, according to Courthouse News Service. The African American victim claims that co-workers made slave jokes, gave her shackles, and insinuated that the supervisor was her master.

These claims sound like the makings of a hostile work environment.

Extreme Sexual Harassment Is Still Out There: What You Can Do

As we progress into the 21st century we tend to think that everything is progressing along with time. However, we are occasionally reminded that we have not yet met this ideal.

One extreme example of this is a boss in the Washington, D.C., area who has been accused of sexually harassing female employees in a very extreme manner. Three women have sued UGL Services Limited, a Portland, Maine-based staffing company, for its failure to act after receiving their complaints of sexual harassment, according to Courthouse News Service.

The women reported their supervisor, Felix Miranda, because he allegedly exposed himself and sexually assaulted the women continuously between 2010 and 2011. The most extreme accusation is that Miranda locked one of the women in a closet with him and forced her to watch his homemade pornography while he grabbed her breast and masturbated, according to Courthouse News.

With this or any type of harassment, a victim can pursue several courses of action.

Sexual Harassment, Champagne Style?

Sexual harassment takes many forms, all of which are offensive in a different manner. There could be verbal harassment through the constant mention of sex or unrelenting come-ons. There could be written harassment by sending emails or writing notes and leaving sexual images at a coworker's desk. Then there is the worst, which is the physical harassment by inappropriate touching or worse.

In Elizabeth, New Jersey, Stanley Champagne is accused of choosing to take his harassment to the "worse" level of physical harassment by holding his coworker Katiria Velez by her sweatshirt and masturbating on her, according to Courthouse News Service. This event was preceded by an alleged offer by Champagne to provide $50 to Velez so that he could perform oral sex on her.

Internal Affairs, Indeed; Policewoman Harassed for Years by Boss

Usually it is the Internal Affairs crew that investigates wrongdoing within a police force, not causes it. They're the ones that are supposed to be investigating whether cops are embezzling funds or selling confiscated drugs on the street.

Recently, Philadelphia Police Internal Affairs Bureau Staff Inspector Jerrold Bates was accused by aide Keisha Johnson of forcing her into a sexual relationship in order to keep her job, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. The harassment allegedly started in 2008 when Bates slipped his hands under Johnson's shirt during a one on one meeting in his office.