Our Wisconsin and Illinois readers know well the irony of when someone who is charged with enforcing the law is accused of breaking the law. That’s the paradox that is making headlines far east of us. A New Jersey prosecutor and his top assistants are being sued for gender discrimination and retaliation. All four of the defendants are male, while the three plaintiffs are female.
Regular readers of our Milwaukee Employment Law Blog know that we have man times written about employment law issues affecting our Wisconsin and Chicago area readers. We recently read of a 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that a shift transfer can be a form of retaliation.
Because our law firm serves both Wisconsin and the Chicago metro area, we keep our eyes trained on developments important to both. We read recently that an ethics panel of Illinois legislators has chosen former judge and Menard County state’s attorney Carol Pope to take on a backlog of sexual harassment complaints at the state capitol.
Although Milwaukee news outlets did not report on the story, we read recently of a man accused by former co-workers of making their lives miserable with two years of inappropriate and unacceptable workplace behavior. A lawsuit filed against the former nursing home worker and his employer says he sexually harassed and assaulted at least four women who worked at the facility.
High-end department store chain Saks Fifth Avenue has a Chicago location, but it is their flagship New York outlet that is the focus of eight of its former employees. The group recently filed a race and age discrimination lawsuit in which they allege that they store had a hostile work environment and that they were wrongfully terminated from their jobs.
In the western Chicago suburbs, a woman who served as DeKalb’s interim city manager said she was placed on leave because she refused to answer questions about whether she was dating one of the city’s aldermen. A few day ago, her employment law attorney filed a workplace discrimination claim that alleges she was subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation in a hostile work environment.
It wasn’t that long ago that many corporations believed sexual harassment was not an issue deserving of much more than occasional lip service. But times have changed and many companies are trying to get ahead of the problem and resolve complaints quickly and to the satisfaction of complainants before a sexual harassment lawsuit is filed.
Just south of Chicago sits Country Club Hills, a modest suburb of about 16,000 residents. A jury there recently awarded a firefighter more than $11 million in a gender discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit.
Those who expect elected officials to hold themselves to a higher standard are undoubtedly disappointed in the news that the Dane County District Attorney's office has settled a harassment and retaliation lawsuit that claimed misconduct by the prosecutor.
Out in the western Chicago suburbs sits the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, once one of the most powerful and large particle accelerators in existence. The landmark science facility brags that it brings “the world together to solve the mysteries of matter, energy, space and time.”