Questions & Answers:
What constitutes a small employer vs. a larger employer, and how are these capped?
I indicated that certain damages are “capped” under Title VII for small employers. A brief description of such caps can be found here: https://www.eeoc.gov//employees/remedies.cfm.
- Such caps only apply to Federal law claims under Title VII. They do not apply to state law claims of harassment or discrimination.
- The caps only apply to “compensatory damages”: emotional distress damages, punitive damages, and out -of-pocket expenses. The caps do not apply to direct damages, such as front pay or back pay, or attorneys’ fees
Is there any defense for retaliation claims?
Yes. If the defense was not in good faith. The decision was made for other independent reasons, and not related to the conduct. If the person who terminated you had no idea that you brought up the issue, then there would be no retaliation. If there is a history of performance issues, the employee would be terminated based on performance, and not on the complaint.
How can we obtain a copy of a sample sexual harassment policy that was mentioned?
We typically do not hand these out for free, but I will send a copy to Kyle for distribution. Disclaimer: you should still look at this with an attorney, so don’t just take it and print it. Please put some thought into it.
How can obtain a copy of the sample Love Contract?
The Love Contract is essentially both people admitting that it’s consensual and a binding admission. Some employers confronted with employee dating require employees to sign co-called “love contracts” that, among other things, attest to the consensual nature of the relationship. A sample “love contract” can be found here: http://pages.thinkhr.com/rs/thinkhr/images/Company-Love-Contract-01.0215.pdf. Such agreements should only be used after consultation with management and experienced counsel.
What is prohibiting pre-dispute arbitration, and what does it mean for a company?
Pre-dispute means that when you walk in the door, before any complaint is made, you agree to go through arbitration with the company.
What happens if the accused ends up being innocent? Can they claim that they have been wrongfully terminated?
Generally, no. The company relies on a complaint in good faith, and acted upon it.