EEOC v. KarenKim, Inc., No. 11-3309-cv (2d Cir. Oct. 19, 2012): The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit on behalf of female employees who worked at the defendant’s Oswego, New York grocery store. During a two-week jury trial, numerous employees testified that the store’s manager routinely verbally and physically sexually harassed teenage female employees with graphic comments, innuendo, and inappropriate touching. The employees testified that they complained to the store’s owner, who had a romantic relationship with the manager, but the owner did not believe them. On one occasion, the manager pled guilty to second-degree criminal harassment. Based upon this evidence, the jury returned a verdict for the EEOC and the claimants, finding that the defendant was liable for maintaining a “sexually hostile work environment” with “malice or reckless indifference” to the rights of young female employees. The jury’s award included punitive damages of $1,250,000. Following the verdict, the district court rejected the EEOC’s request for injunctive relief. On appeal, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that the district court abused its discretion because it denied injunctive relief directed at ensuring that the manager would no longer be in a position to sexually harass employees. Although in an ordinary case, terminating a lone sexual harasser may be sufficient to eliminate the “cognizable danger” that a defendant-employer will engage in recurrent violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the court concluded that “this is not an ordinary case.” The court therefore remanded the decision for reconsideration and suggested that an appropriate injunction would prohibit the defendant from employing the manager in the future and prohibit him from entering its premises. This unusual case emphasizes that failing to take adequate steps to investigate and correct sexual harassment may subject the employer to injunctions that include continued outside monitoring and oversight.
On October 18, 2012, a bill (A3412) was introduced in the New Jersey Assembly to establish a default two-year statute of limitations for most civil actions. Significantly for employers, this would increase the statute of limitations for a defamation claim (currently one year), decrease the statute of limitations for a breach a contract claim (currently
On July 8, 2021, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill (SB) 208, An Act Making Various Changes to the Labor Laws of North Carolina, which includes changes to the pay notice provisions for employees and payment of final wages to separated employees. The amendments to the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act (NCWHA) (N.C. Gen. Stat. § 95-25.1 et seq.) include changes to the employer-provided notice to employees concerning compensation at both the outset of employment and prior to any reduction in pay. S
Beware of H-1B Wage Law Violations: Company Ordered to Pay Over $300,000 in Back Pay and Penalties for H-1B/LCA Violations
A recent case before the Office of Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) is a compelling reminder that H-1B wage law infringements can result in significant financial penalties and fines. Moreover, violations in H-1B program rules also can lead to program debarment and even criminal investigations.