People in positions of authority sometimes get away with behaving badly. But when the authority figure is a company owner who harasses and assaults a vulnerable employee, you can expect a court to come down hard on the offender.
Recent case: Janice Moncriffe, a native of Jamaica, worked as a receptionist. She told police that the company owner repeatedly exposed himself to her, grabbed her and finally sexually assaulted her. At the time, Moncriffe was in the country illegally.
The owner was found guilty in criminal court. Moncriffe also sued for sexual harassment.
The judge ordered a total of $1 million in damages. (Moncriffe v. Classique Interiors, No. 09-0986, ED NY, 2011)
Final note: Remember that a worker’s immigration status does not prevent a discrimination lawsuit.
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- Check for not so obvious patterns of race discrimination
- Reduce discrimination risk by having same person hire, fire
- Back up consistent discipline system with documentation, review of high-stakes cases
- Planning layoffs? Check age demographics before and after proposed RIF
- Deciding not to hire, note specific reasons why