Tag Archives: Harassment

Discriminatory Behavior: Do PIPs and “Coaching Plans” Count?

Anyone familiar with educator employment has likely heard the terms PIP, PDP, or FIP before.  PIPs, short for Professional Improvement Plans, are generally the first attempt of an employer to change the behavior of an employee.  Understandably, many people find being placed on PIPs surprising and very stressful, this is particularly true when an individual has been with an employer for decades only to find themselves suddenly placed under a microscope.  Placement on a PIP can make an individual to feel targeted and harassed, which leads to the obvious question, can a PIP by itself be discriminatory?  A recent decision from a federal appellate court addresses just this issue.  See Perret v. Nationwide Mutual Ins. Co., 770 F.3d 336 (5th Cir. 2014) (hat tip to the Laconic Law Blog for pointing this case out).  Hit the jump for the analysis… Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Discrimination

Costco Sex Harassment Lawsuit May Have Lessons for Missouri Teachers

Almost exclusively, claims of sexual harassment are brought against coworkers or supervisors.  So what is an individual to do when the harasser falls outside of one of these two groups?  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently brought suit against Costco in just such a situation and the case may also provide guidance for teachers as well.  Hit the jump for all the details… Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Discrimination, Uncategorized

Missouri Court Rules Discrimination Does Not Require A Specific, Discrete Adverse Employment Action

In Missouri, in order to make a claim for discriminatory harassment, the individual has to be able to show four things:

  1. The individual is a member of a protected class (race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, disability, or age);
  2. The individual suffered harassment related to their protected class;
  3. The harassment occurred because the individual belonged to the protected class; and
  4. A “term, condition, or privilege” of the individual’s employment was affected by the harassment.

The question faced in a recent Missouri appellate decision is whether the fourth requirement can be met even in a scenario where someone has not suffered from one specific act that caused economic harm. Fuchs v. Dept. of Revenue, WD77155 (Mo. App. W.D. Aug. 26, 2014).  Hit the jump for the details… Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Discrimination, Missouri

What exactly is a “Hostile Work Environment”?

In my experience, the prohibitions on “hostile work environment” and “harassment” are some of the most misunderstood by individuals not in the legal field.  Unlike many areas of law where archaic latin terms are used to describe legal ideas (“mens rea” or “habeus corpus” anyone?), both of these take normal everyday words and press them into service as specific legal terms.  Therefore, while we can all understand when someone is feeling harassed or that their workplace is hostile, determining when legal rights have been violated is far more complex.  Hit the jump for a look at four (count ’em four!) cases that investigate the gamut of “hostile work environment” and “harassment” law.  Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Discrimination, Uncategorized