Harassment Law | Law Firm Newswire - Part 7

Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) June 12, 2013 – If a worker states they are sick enough to trigger FMLA leave, do they need to spell that out each time they need to take time off? The answer is unclear. “This is one of those cases where an answer to the legal question was not made clear by the courts. It’s likely the case may be appealed, or another one similar to it may make its way to court and conclude with a different resolution,” remarked Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) June 5, 2013 – Employers may make reasonable accommodations for workers with religious restrictions, unless it causes workplace issues. Religion is an important issue to many Americans. Important enough to inform their employer if they follow the teachings of a certain faith that may interfere with them performing the job they were hired to do. This case outlines that although employers are bound to make realistic adjustments for religious beliefs, there is a line in the sand when it comes to how a person’s faith interferes with a company’s ability to get a job done. […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 9, 2013 – The law allows a worker to sue an employer for improperly using funds earmarked for ERISA benefits. “George v. Junior Achievement, No. 11-3291, 7th Cir., 2012 raises an issue that is quite important to note,” stated Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. “It deals with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and the fact that it is illegal for companies to not properly process funds withheld from a worker’s […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) May 3, 2013 – If an explosive employee causes distress in the workplace that may be cause for being fired. “This particular case is interesting for the take away,” pointed out Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. “Initially, the worker alleged he was discriminated against, on further examination of the circumstances, it turned out the worker was aggressive and disruptive.” Hill v. Johnson, No. 11-C-2144, ND IL, 2012, revolves around a black gentleman, hired […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) April 10, 2013 – Employees with a hair trigger temper and combative demeanor may find themselves unemployed. “Most employers have had experience with an employee who is difficult to work with, in the sense they are overly sensitive and seem to take offense at and with everything. There are even those who cannot take any kind of constructive criticism. The reaction(s) of individuals such as that, may result in discipline and/or being let go,” outlined Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) April 3, 2013 – Usually an employer disciplines everyone to the same extent. There are exceptions to that rule. “In most cases where a worker has done something requiring discipline in the workplace, the same discipline is handed out to others who commit similar offenses. In theory that works. In practice, it may not,” commented Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. Not every instance of an infraction of workplace rules will necessarily draw the […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) March 5, 2013 – When sexual harassment cases are settled out of court, the defendant must still pay up. “This case was filed by a group of women who worked at Chicago’s Leona’s Pizzeria. Their complaint to the EEOC, filed in 2008, alleged there was a hostile work environment and sexual harassment. When the EEOC was done investigating, they found reason to believe that there was indeed workplace harassment. They worked with Leona’s to come to a settlement, rather than proceed to court,” said Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) February 25, 2013 – FLMA rules and protocol are in place for employees to follow. If the rules are not followed, they may not have a case. “Not all FMLA cases that go to court are successful,” points out Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. “This case, Nicholson v. Pulte Homes, No. 11-2238, 7th Cir., 2012, was not a winner for the plaintiff.” In Nicholson v. Pulte Homes, the plaintiff was employed as a […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) February 18, 2013 – If an individual is so sick that they cannot perform essential job functions while on leave, their workload must be adjusted. “Pagel v. Tin, No. 11-2318, 7th Cir., 2012 is a case whose ratio decidendi states that an employer cannot punish an employee for poor performance if they are too sick to perform. If that does happen, the employer should then expect an FMLA interference lawsuit,” added Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) January 11, 2013 – At one time, employers in Illinois asked their job candidates for their social media passwords. They can no longer do this. “In a move regarded as a victory for employees, Illinois governor Pat Quinn has ushered in a law that bars employers asking job applicants for their social media passwords. This legislation acts to protect their private communications from potential or current managers,” outlined Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) January 4, 2013 – Some professionals may not understand what they said when it comes to sex discrimination. “This recent case, Blasdel v. North Western University, No. 11-2075, 7th Cir., 2012, is interesting, largely because the court decided that some professionals are not as aware and articulate as perhaps they should be when it comes to making sexist comments. That being said, it appears that even though they may make sexist remarks, they may not comprehend their significance, and thus are not censured for them,” remarked Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) December 19, 2012 – A sexual harassment policy is not worth the paper it is written on, if everyone in a workplace does not follow it, or if one does not exist. “Thomas v. Comcast, No. 11-CV-1209, ND IL, 2012 is a good reference point for employers who have someone on staff that seems to feel hugging and kissing others is acceptable conduct in the workplace. While some workers might not be bothered by that kind of behavior, there will be others that take exception to it,” outlined Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) December 5, 2012 – Racist talk at work creates a hostile work environment. “It should go without saying, do not allow racist talk in the workplace; any kind of racist talk, even if it is not directed at another worker. Talk like that may have a devastating effect on those who hear it, whether it is meant specifically for them or not,” explained Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. The case that deals with […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) November 20, 2012 – Forcing workers to take leave may result in a lawsuit. “This recent case, Arizanovska v. Wal-Mart Stores, No. 11-3387, 7th Cir., 2012, handled by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Illinois, states with relative clarity that forcing a worker to go on leave may be the basis for a lawsuit. This would be true even if the company has a policy relating to forced leave and applies it evenly across the board,” said Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) November 6, 2012 – Retaliation in the workplace is an issue that often generates acrimonious debate. “Retaliation in the workplace for filing a complaint about discrimination is illegal,” outlined Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace, “and the standard of proof to show retaliation is extremely low.” To prove retaliation, an employee has to show that a reasonable worker would have been put off complaining, if they knew how the employer would react. There are […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) October 1, 2012 – Lawsuits can go either way in court, as this plaintiff discovered when she lost her case. “While there are many reasons to file a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), those reasons must be valid when tested by the courts. If they are not, the plaintiff may lose their case. This is appears to have what happened in Samper v. Providence St. Vincent Med. Ctr., 9th Cir., 4/11/12,” outlined Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) March 28, 2012 – This case was a long battle to make a religious statement, which was the woman’s right to begin with. “In SHORELINE TOWERS CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION v. Debra GASSMAN, Gassman had mounted a mezuzah to the door post of her condo. The Association took exception to that, saying it violated the rules about putting personal objects in common areas, which included halls and doorways. The Association kept removing the mezuzah when she put it back up,” outlined Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) March 28, 2012 – Even though the plaintiff-appellant in this case only worked eight days, she was subjected to sexual harassment on the job. What followed was a legal comedy of errors. “This case is unusual, in that the plaintiff had only worked for the company she ultimately sued for eight days,” explained Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment attorney and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. C., an employment litigation firm dedicated to representing employees in the workplace. “DETATA v. ROLLPRINT PACKAGING PRODUCTS INC. was argued in front of the United States Court […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) March 15, 2012 – The plaintiff-appellant in this case was virtually ambushed by a co-worker who had a history of sexual harassment. Her employer did not do much to protect her. “In SUTHERLAND v. WAL-MART STORES, INC., the plaintiff-appellant sued Wal-Mart in federal court. The allegations in her suit included negligent retention, constructive discharge, intentional imposition of emotional distress, confinement and battery, promissory estoppel, maintenance of a hostile workplace due to sex discrimination and retaliation for reporting sexual discrimination,” outlined Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law Office, P. […]


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Chicago, IL (Law Firm Newswire) February 15, 2012 – In this case, the court rendered a decision that the Gender Violence Act could not be retroactively applied. “The alleged sexual assault and battery committed in this case in 2004 was perpetrated by Dr. Long Han. The original case went to appeal on the issue of whether or not violations of the Gender Violence Act (740 ILCS 82/1 et seq. (West 2004)) could be retroactively applied. The appeal court decided the Act may ‘not’ be retroactively applied,” explained Timothy Coffey, a Chicago employment lawyer and principal attorney for The Coffey Law […]


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