To: Board of Directors
From: Lisa Moreaux
Date: February 22, 2012
Re: Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment
Anna Seenanfeld, and Lisa Ready, both former employees here at the school have filed sexual discrimination lawsuits with Equal Employment Opportunity Office(EEOC). These lawsuits are accusing Pastor Forester of sexual harassment of hostile work environment. The EEOC has found in favor of Pollard stating she was a victim of sex discrimination. This finding has now placed the school in a liability lawsuit.
The school is facing several liabilities. According to EEOC the school is in violation of Title VII of the CRA (Civil Rights Act) of 1964. In my opinion and under the Title VII violation, the school is considered liable in several ways as listed below:
* Harassment by supervisors – actually knew about it or could have learned of the harassment and failed to take immediate action * Knowledge of harassment
I. person in authority directly observes the harassment
II. victim lodges an internal complaint with someone in authority III. harassment is practiced openly
* Company should have learned of the harassment
I. Harassment was blatant or unconcealed
II. Managers or supervisors witnessed the conduct to the extent that some action should have been taken * Effective Remedial Action – must act promptly and the action must be effective. In a hostile environment case, if appropriate and effective remedial action is taken a company can avoid liability even if sexual harassment occurred.
In my opinion of the facts in this case and according to Seenanfeld and Ready testimonies, the school would be faced with defending all of the above liabilities. Further, the school would also be liable for compensatory and punitive damages.
“Until 1991, Title VII entitled sexual harassment victims to collect only back pay, lost wages and, if they had been forced to leave, to be reinstated in their jobs. Nothing was provided for pain and suffering. Often, women who did file EEOC complaints continued to be harassed at work, or felt compelled to quit. If they won, all they got were a few dollars and an intolerable job back. However, these cases were very difficult to win. Alternatively, the victims would file tort actions for assault, battery, false imprisonment, and /or intentional infliction of mental distress in state court. As a result, sexual harassment victims found little recourse in the legal system for their harms. Recognizing the need to strengthen the remedies for sexual harassment under Title VII, Congress amended the Civil Rights Act in 1991. Now, sexual harassment victims can recover compensatory damages beyond back pay, and may do so in a jury trial. Moreover, these damages can encompass "future pecuniary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other no pecuniary losses. Plaintiffs can also collect punitive damages, if they can demonstrate that an employer acted with malice or with reckless or callous indifference.”
Legislation has now limited the sum of punitive and compensatory damages a plaintiff can receive. Please review the chart below to determine an estimate of what the school ‘s compensatory and punitive damages would be to Seenanfeld and Ready respectively.
Number of employees
Sum of Compensatory/Punitive damages
501 or more
In conclusion, the school would be faced with a maximum liability to Seenanfeld and Ready an amount of up to a maximum $300,000 per plaintiff per claim.
Please take this memo under advisement as defense in this case. 2)
a. Sexual harassment occurs when one employee makes continued, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, to...
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