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ARKANSAS TRIAL LAWYERS
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What to Do When HR Refuses to Address or Investigate an Instance of Sexual Harassment

Published on Dec 5, 2019 at 2:22 pm in Employment Law.

Man looking at computer

Reporting an instance of on-the-job sexual harassment to your Human Resources (HR) department doesn’t always go the way you expect. Reporting to HR is the first step you should always take, but unfortunately, they may take steps to downplay or brush off what happened or delay looking into what happened in hopes of not having to take action against your claim. If you’re in situation like this, what are your options when HR ignores your sexual harassment claim? Let’s take a look at some other options you may have.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Verdict Ruled for McMath Client; $1.6M Not Owed

Published on Jul 3, 2018 at 3:47 pm in Employment Law, Uncategorized.

MidCon Gathering LLC, represented by McMath Woods PA’s John D. Coulter and Preston T. Kamin of Gray Reed & McGraw LLP, received a defense verdict in a suit after Stephen Carleson and his company, Producers Credit Protection Group, Inc., alleged he developed a credit facility for the company but wasn’t paid $1.6 million he was owed. U.S. District Judge Brian S. Miller, of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western Division ruled that he didn’t have the necessary insurance license to carry out the deal.

It was ruled that the “credit facility” Carleson and his company, helped develop acted as a “credit insurance policy” issued by a third party for MidCon’s benefit. However, Carleson does not have a license to sell insurance in Arkansas. This resulted in a fatal problem.

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