Lessons from the Courts: February ’18

Supporting a harassment complaint is protected activity. Managers should never retaliate against an employee who sticks up for an alleged harassment victim or makes overtures to help that person’s case. Such behavior will quickly turn into a costly retaliation lawsuit. Case in point: A steamboat cruise company will pay $50,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a fired cruise director who submitted a written complaint about an ongoing sexual harassment of a co-worker. The complaint criticized a high-ranking manager (a friend of the harasser) for his handling of the case. The high-ranking manager quickly turned around and fired the cruise director. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit on the director’s behalf. (EEOC v. American Queen Steamboat Company)