Posts tagged with "gender-based harassment"

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

What may or may not constitute sexual harassment in the workplace can be a tricky subject.  Earlier this year, the Connecticut Superior Court ruled on a specific provision of Connecticut’s sexual harassment law, specifically, the provision defining sexual harassment as “any conduct of a sexual nature” when “submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment.”

In Meyer v. Post Road Auto Body Shop, plaintiff Meyer sued her former employer, defendant Post Road Auto Body Shop (“Post Road”), and its owner, Joseph Castellana.  She alleged that her employment was terminated in violation of Connecticut General Statute 46a-60(a)(8), which defines sexual harassment.[1]

The facts of the case are as follows.  Meyer was employed by Post Road for two years, and had been in a sexual relationship with Castellana prior to being hired and during her employment.[2] When Meyer learned that Castellana was dating other women, she ended their relationship.  According to the complaint, she was immediately terminated from her position as office assistant.[3]

In her complaint, Meyer alleged that her termination not only violated Connecticut’s sexual harassment law, but that it violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, among other claims.  Ruling on the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, which alleged that there were no genuine issues of material fact, the court agreed with the plaintiff, finding that “the evidence shows that there is a material issue of fact as to whether the plaintiff’s continuation of her sexual relationship with Castellana was either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of her continued employment with Post Road.”[4] With that, the Court rejected the defendant’s argument that the plaintiff was not terminated because she refused Castellana’s sexual advances.  Essentially, the court found that the defendant’s reasoning and understanding of Connecticut’s statute relating to sexual harassment was shortsighted, and didn’t address the argument that Meyer’s employment hinged on her continuation of their sexual relationship.

This case exemplifies the intricacies of the laws relating to sexual harassment, which can pose difficulty when it comes to litigation.  It is imperative, therefore, to consult with an experienced employment attorney with the knowledge to advocate on your behalf.  Should you find yourself with questions relating to sexual harassment in the workplace, or employment law in general, do not hesitate to contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq., at 203-221-3100, or at JMaya@mayalaw.com.


[1] Meyer v. Post Road Auto Body Shop, 2012 Conn. Super. LEXIS 803 (Mar. 27, 2012).

[2] Id. at 1.

[3] Id.

[4] Id. at 6.

Former Student Brings Title IX Suit Against Wesleyan University

In a case that has garnered national attention, a former Wesleyan University student filed a federal lawsuit in Connecticut’s district court against Wesleyan, alleging that the university failed to protect her from dangers of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity.  The female says she was raped at the fraternity two years ago at a party.

The complaint charged Wesleyan with violating Title IX and alleged that the university violated the federal law by failing “to supervise, discipline, warn or take other corrective action” against the Mu Epsilon chapter of the Beta fraternity.  The complaint further stated that the university “did nothing to prevent, and was deliberately indifferent to, the harm caused to Jane Doe by the rape and outrageous sexual harassment and intimidation that followed her everywhere on campus.”  Finally, the complaint alleged that the school “acted with deliberate indifference towards the rights of Jane Doe and other female students to a safe and secure education environment thus materially impairing Jane Doe’s ability to pursue her education at Wesleyan in violation of the requirements of Title IX.”[1]

Her complaint seeks punitive damages for negligence, Title IX violations, and premises liability.

Title IX is the federal gender-equality law, which states in part that “no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

The legislation covers all educational and non-sport activities, such as school clubs and bands.  As such, the impact of the legislation is far-reaching and can touch many different aspects of one’s life.  If you feel that you or a loved one is being discriminated against on the basis of gender or sex, you should consult with an attorney experienced in the complicated field of employment law.  Our attorneys represent employees throughout Fairfield County, and are ready to advocate on your behalf.  Please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq., at 203-221-3100, or at JMaya@mayalaw.com, to schedule a consultation.


[1] http://articles.courant.com/2012-10-05/news/hc-wesleyan-rape-lawsuit-1006-20121005_1_wesleyan-university-student-wesleyan-community-lawsuit.

U.S. Department of Education Takes a Strong Stance Against Bullying

President Obama recently established an Inter-agency Task Force on Bullying. In conjunction with that, the Obama administration hosted its first ever National Bullying Summit and launched the Stop Bullying Now campaign, the It Gets Better Project, and a national database of effective anti-bullying programs. For more information on bullying, please review the following:

The Trevor Project

BullyingInfo.org

It Gets Better Project

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