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ARKANSAS TRIAL LAWYERS
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5 Common Examples of Workplace Harassment

Published on Sep 19, 2019 at 11:36 am in Employment Law.

Man speaking to woman at a desk

When you’re dealing with mistreatment at work, whether it’s from a coworker or supervisor, you may be unsure if you have the right to take legal action. Often times, there’s a difference between what a person thinks is harassment, versus what the legal definition says. In order to bring some clarity to the situation, we’ll be discussing common examples of workplace harassment.

We’ll look at the general types of harassment, physical, mental, authoritative, discriminatory, and retaliation, and break those down into real-world examples, so you’ll be able to identify harassment if or when it happens in your workplace. No matter what type of harassment you’re dealing with, it’s crucial that the liable party be held accountable for their actions. You have the right to feel safe and comfortable, no matter where you work.

What Are the First Signs of Workplace Discrimination?

Published on Aug 23, 2019 at 9:47 am in Employment Law.

Birds eye view of woman at desk with head in hands

When we go to work, we expect to be in an environment where people respect each other. With this foundation, communication, work quality, and productivity can thrive. However, there are some workplaces that don’t treat all employees the same. While discrimination is illegal, it can still happen. When it does, legal recourse may be an option.

It can be scary to think about coming forward with a discrimination allegation. People may choose not to do it because they’re afraid of backlash, such as losing their job. However, those who have filed complaints because of discrimination are legally protected from facing discrimination when they’ve filed a charge, made a complaint, or took part in an investigation or lawsuit.

The Intersection of Employment and Crime: Abuse of Power, Privilege, & People

Published on Jun 27, 2019 at 2:18 pm in Employment Law.

To better understand how an employer or high profile individual could commit illegal crimes of abuse such as in situations involving forced labor and/or human trafficking, it’s important to note that these individuals have a skewed perception of reality. Harassing behavior of any kind is a way to establish dominance, maintain or gain power, and intimidate others. Common characteristics of the mentality in which a person may justify his or her abusive actions include:

Entitlement – the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

Narcissism – people with this personality disorder have a lack of empathy for other people and crave admiration. These people are frequently described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. They may also have grandiose fantasies and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment.

Low to No Moral Principles – having little to no understanding or awareness of what is right and wrong. This is also considered lacking integrity or the honesty and truthfulness of one’s actions.

Displacement of Responsibility – unwillingness to see his or her own shortcomings and uses everything in his or her power to avoid being held accountable for them. This is also known as projection; a defense mechanism used to displace responsibility of one’s negative behavior and traits by attributing them to someone else.

Objectification – when one views others with whom they are in a working or personal relationship with as objects or possessions.

A Collision of Economic Realities and the Fight against an Underground Force

Published on Jun 24, 2019 at 3:55 pm in Employment Law.

Over the past several months, national attention has turned towards Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, who was recently charged with two misdemeanor counts of soliciting prostitution after paying for and receiving sexual services from the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter, Fla. Each count carries a maximum jail term of one year, along with 100-hours of community service and a $5,000 fine.  At the time Robert Kraft was arrested, the Orchids of Asia Day Spa was under police surveillance in connection with a human trafficking and prostitution investigation that ultimately led to the uncovering of a prostitution operation within 10 Central and Southern Florida day spas in direct connection to China.

Kraft was due to appear in court on March 28 to accept or decline a proposed prosecution deal extended to him by the Palm Beach County Attorney’s Office. Acceptance of the deal could have led to the prosecution dropping criminal charges against Kraft, but required Kraft to admit that prosecutors have enough evidence against him to convict him if he went to trial. In this scenario, Kraft must have also agreed to a sexually transmitted diseases screening, completed an education course on prostitution, and completed 100-hours of community service. Kraft turned down the plea deal. Since then, video evidence including the on-site surveillance tapes and video evidence used to identify Kraft during the traffic stop has been thrown out of the case.

Important Takeaways from the #MeToo Movement

Published on Mar 14, 2019 at 2:09 pm in Employment Law.

The #MeToo movement has increased our awareness of harassment and sexual misconduct in private and public spheres. As such, this social movement has given voices and credibility to survivors and has promoted an examination of the consequences offenders face.

There are a number of takeaways we can examine when it comes to the influence of the #MeToo movement. We’ll examine the ones that apply most to the workplace and employment law.

EEOC Employment Claims in the Aftermath of a Government Shutdown

Published on Mar 1, 2019 at 2:47 pm in Employment Law.

Government agencies will undoubtedly feel the impact for a significant time of the recent, record long government shutdown. The impact of the convulsive operational pace will have a trickledown effect on any and all doing business with federal agencies, some more than others, considering some agencies are often times granted extended funding to operate fully or partially. Unlike the United States Department of Labor (DOL) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), both of which are fully funded through October 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) closed completely during the recent shutdown due to lack of funding.

Like after past closures, the substantial backlog of cases has placed everyone at the mercy of the multi-faceted EEOC process – a process that is now likely several months behind. So, what does this process look like from all angles?

John Coulter Supports TIME’s UP Legal Defense Fund; Joins as Network Attorney

Published on Jan 31, 2019 at 12:31 pm in Employment Law.

McMath Woods partner, John Coulter, has joined a network of nearly 800 attorneys across the country who are partnering with the TIME’s UP Legal Defense Fund to provide legal assistance to women who experience sexual misconduct including assault, harassment, abuse and related retaliation in the workplace. The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund, housed by the National Women’s Law Center – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, provides legal resources and financial support in select workplace sexual harassment and sexual harassment-related retaliation matters.

Maintaining a Safe Work Environment

Published on Jan 11, 2019 at 4:06 pm in Employment Law.

According to national and state employment laws, it’s an employer’s responsibility to provide a safe work environment for their employees. No one expects to get injured at work; however, accidents happen when employers neglect their responsibilities.

In 2016, there were approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by employees. While many of these conditions were recoverable, some individuals were not so lucky. Regardless of the severity, if you’ve been injured at work you deserve compensation to manage your medical expenses and lost wages, and your employer should be held accountable for their negligence.

An Overview of Title VII’s Workplace Protections

Published on Nov 2, 2018 at 5:33 pm in Employment Law.

Workers in the U.S. are entitled to rights that protect them from unfair discrimination and harassment. For many marginalized groups, discrimination could prevent career opportunities, fair pay, and benefits of the job. Thankfully, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes Title VII, a monumental part of the law that prevents certain forms of discrimination in the workplace. Employers who have fifteen (15) or more employees are generally subject to Title VII. But sometimes, despite the law, some employers make discriminatory decisions. If this has happened to you in Arkansas, a Little Rock employment lawyer from McMath Woods P.A. can help you with your claim.

We believe in upholding the rights for the citizens in Arkansas. Everyone deserves to have a fair chance to obtain and retain the particular job she seeks and for which she is qualified. Those who make unjust decisions based on characteristics protected under Title VII need to be held accountable for their unlawful actions.

Bentonville Walmart Sued for 2017 Disability Discrimination Case

Published on Oct 1, 2018 at 2:00 pm in Employment Law.

Melinda Allen of Fayetteville filed a lawsuit against Walmart Inc. in August 2017, alleging the company wrongfully fired her as a result of disability discrimination and retaliation. Our own McMath Woods attorney John Coulter is representing the plaintiff. The longtime ex-employee is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as either reinstatement or lost-earning pay for the discrimination she was subjected to.

In 2012, the plaintiff was promoted to Director of ADA and Immigration Compliance. Her medical conditions required that she miss work once every two months to receive treatment. In response, she noticed her then-supervisor began scheduling meetings on her treatment days and making disparaging comments about her work performance in conjunction with her medical condition. She was also disciplined after taking an approved six-week medical leave.

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