SLDN Files Landmark Litigation on Behalf of Married Gay and Lesbian Service Members, Veterans Case Challenges Constitutionality of Defense of Marriage Act, Other Statutes Preventing Equal Benefits and Family Support
Every day, you see how cyberbullying hurts students, disrupts classrooms, and impacts your school’s culture. So how should you handle it? What are the right things to do and say? What can you do today that will help your students avoid this pitfall of our digital world?
We created this free toolkit to help you take on those questions and take an effective stand against cyberbullying. So start here. Use it now. Rely on it to start your year off right.
Michigan City Restaurant To Pay $23,000 To Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Suit
Lighthouse Restaurant Allowed Male Manager to Abuse Female Employee, Federal Agency Charged
SOUTH BEND, IND. – A Michigan City, Ind., restaurant will pay $23,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
The EEOC charged in its suit (Case No. 3:10-cv-0407-RL-CAN in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division) that the restaurant owner, Faros, Inc., violated federal law when it allowed the manager of the Lighthouse Restaurant to sexually harass a female hostess for months with sexual innuendo and propositions and subjected her to a hostile work environment.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.
In addition to monetary settlement, the five-year consent decree settling the suit requires Faros, Inc. to comply with prohibitions against further discrimination, devise and distribute a sexual harassment policy, train its managers and staff, and report to the EEOC, among other things. Another sexual harassment lawsuit (Case No. 3:11-cv-00306-TLS-CAN) remains pending against Dino’s Restaurant, a second Michigan City restaurant owned and operated by Faros, Inc.
“Sexual harassment encompasses more than just offensive touching, and an employee should not have to endure constant verbal sexual propositions and innuendo in the workplace,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Laurie Young. “The EEOC will continue to protect the rights of employees to earn a living free from such unlawful conduct.”
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at: www.eeoc.gov.
The Late Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth - A Civil Rights LEGEND Passes at 89
Story- USA TODAY
The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, the civil rights icon hailed in his native Alabama as a “black Moses,” died Wednesday. He was 89. Described in a 1961 CBS documentary as “the man most feared by Southern racists,” Shuttlesworth survived bombings, beatings, repeated jailings and other attacks — physical and financial — in his unyielding determination to heal the country’s most enduring, divisive and volatile chasm.
"They were trying to blow me into heaven," Shuttlesworth, who spent most of his adult life in Cincinnati, said of those who violently opposed him in Birmingham and throughout the South. "But God wanted me on Earth."
"Daddy lived an incredible life and now he’s at peace," said Patricia Shuttlesworth Massengill, his eldest daughter. Massengill, along with her sister Ruby Bester and their brother Fred Shuttlesworth Jr., traveled to Birmingham from Cincinnati on Tuesday and spent about three hours "praying and talking to" their father, whose once thundering voice was silenced several years ago by a stroke. Their other sibling, Carolyn Shuttlesworth, visited their father in a Birmingham hospice last week, "He couldn’t talk to us, but I hope he heard us," Massengill said. "I know he did."
Shuttlesworth’s death removes a civil rights giant who remained a potent advocate for the downtrodden and needy of all colors for decades after he helped blacks secure, if not absolutely equal rights, at least more balanced treatment in a country that grudgingly granted those advances.
Before Rosa Parks refused to give up a bus seat in Montgomery, before four little girls were killed by a bomb at their church in Birmingham, before “Bloody Sunday” in Selma and even before the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. became a household name, there was Shuttlesworth. Although not as well known as King and the Rev. Ralph Abernathy— his compatriots in the civil rights movement’s “Big Three” — Shuttlesworth brought the struggle into the living rooms of white America through a series of combustible showdowns with the Ku Klux Klan, Southern segregationists and Birmingham’s infamous commissioner of public safety, Eugene “Bull” Connor. ”A guest at Bull’s house” — more commonly known as the Birmingham jail — on more than two dozen occasions, Shuttlesworth was viewed by King himself as the person who, because of his confrontational boldness and willingness to put himself in harm’s way, was likely to become the movement’s first major martyr.
"We’re determined to either kill segregation or be killed by it," Shuttlesworth said in the 1961 CBS program. To achieve the goal, he nearly suffered the consequence, coming close to proving King’s premonition true through numerous narrow escapes from death during the civil rights movement’s most volatile and dangerous years. He survived two bombings, one on Christmas Day 1956 when dynamite tossed from a passing car destroyed his parsonage beside Bethel Baptist Church, a small, narrow redbrick structure where he helped ignite "a fire you can’t put out" that forever changed life not just in Birmingham and Alabama, but America.
Nine months later, he was savagely beaten by a white mob armed with bicycle chains and baseball bats in September 1957 when he tried to enroll his daughters at segregated Phillips High School. His wife also was stabbed and his daughter Ruby had her ankle crushed in their car door in that horrific attack. When a bloodied Shuttlesworth was rushed to the hospital, doctors marveled that no bones had been broken and that he had not even sustained a concussion. “The Lord knew I live in a hard town, so he gave me a hard head,” he said at the time. His fiery personality and utter fearlessness were not diminished when Shuttlesworth moved to Cincinnati in 1961, lured by better pay and improved educational opportunities for his children. For much of the next half century, he essentially maintained dual residency, frequently returning to Alabama to help direct the epochal events unfolding there that were reshaping race relations nationwide.
Shuttlesworth was born Freddie Lee Robinson to Alberta Robinson, a 22-year-old unmarried woman in Mugler, Ala., on March 18, 1922. His father’s name was Vetter Greene. The couple had a second child — a girl named Cleola, Shuttlesworth’s only fullblooded sibling. While growing up in a strictly segregated community, Shuttlesworth did not have many opportunities to interact with whites and had shown no interest in civil rights activism. But while working at Brookley, one of his black co-workers was threatened with a pay cut. Shuttlesworth protested, marking the beginning of his advocacy for equal treatment. Later, his quest for civil rights would become intertwined with his Gospel ministry.
By the early 1950s, Shuttlesworth was back in Birmingham, serving as pastor of Bethel Baptist and playing a more visible role in the burgeoning civil rights movement. Emboldened by desegregation of buses in Baton Rouge, La., in 1953 and the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, he pressed his congregants register to vote, pushed the Birmingham City Council to hire more black police officers and traveled to Montgomery to support King’s year-long bus boycott.
But while King was becoming the movement’s national point man, historians and civil rights leaders agree that without Shuttlesworth, the movement’s history might have been far different.
When Alabama’s attorney general teamed up with a judge nicknamed “Injunctionitis Jones” to outlaw the NAACP in the state in 1956, Shuttlesworth founded the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights — an organization that, by directing the civil rights campaign in Alabama, significantly shaped the movement’s national agenda over the next eight years. Shuttlesworth, King, Abernathy and Bayard Rustin formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Atlanta in 1957 to assist local organizations to work for equality for African-Americans. Shuttlesworth helped coin its non-violent motto: “Not one hair of one head of one person should be harmed.”
In 1960, the Rev. L. Venchael Booth, pastor of Zion Baptist Church in Cincinnati, invited Shuttlesworth to preach at the church. Booth later recommended Shuttlesworth to Revelation Baptist Church in Avondale, which needed a pastor. The congregation promptly elected him to the position, but he initially declined, prompting the congregation to step up its courtship. With his wife, Ruby, also pressuring him to take the job because of the higher salary and better schools for their children, Shuttlesworth finally accepted the position on the condition that he could maintain his activism and involvement in Birmingham.
In both states, Shuttlesworth worked tirelessly to remove barriers that once made white workers’ employment floor blacks’ ceiling. During Shuttlesworth’s 80th birthday celebration in Birmingham, then-Jefferson County Commissioner Steve Small stressed that “no elected official of color in this city, this nation, would be where they are today” if not for him.
"Fred Shuttlesworth, this great Moses, taught us not to bow," said the Rev. Abraham Lincoln Woods of Birmingham, who was with him during the vicious 1957 attack at Phillips High. He was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference at its 46th annual convention held in Jacksonville, Fla., in 2001 but he was replaced a year later.
As Shuttlesworth himself said after surviving the Christmas 1956 bombing: “If God could save me from this, I’m here for the duration.”
Thompson v. North American Stainless, LP, 131 S.Ct. 863 (2011)
Female employee filed gender discrimination charge against her employer with the EEOC. Three
weeks later, the female employee’s fiancé, also an employee of the company, is fired by the company.
Title VII’s retaliation provision states that it shall be unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any
of their employee, because they have made a charge under Title VII. Nevertheless, the male employee files his own charge with the EEOC, and subsequently files a Title VII retaliation lawsuit against the employer
Whether a third party, who has not engaged in any statutorily protected activity, is covered under Title VII’s retaliation provision?
Yes, a third party may sue under Title VII’s retaliation provision. Injuring [the fiancé] was the employer’s intended means of harming [the female employee]. Consequently, he can sue. He is an employee, and the “purpose of Title VII is to protect employees from their employer’s unlawful actions.” The Court declined to identify how close the relationship must be between the employee and the third party, but stated: “ we expect that firing a close family member will almost always meet the… standard, and inflicting a milder reprisal on a mere acquaintance will almost never do so.”
Q: May an employer discipline an individual with a psychiatric disability for violating a workplace conduct standard? What if the disability caused the misconduct?
1. The workplace conduct standard is job-related for the position in question and is consistent with business necessity; AND
2. The employer would impose the same discipline on an employee without a disability, i.e. the employer has a uniform disciplinary policy
A clinic employee with schizophrenia tampers with and damages medical equipment. She claims her schizophrenia caused her to do this. Can the employer discipline?
Yes, the employer may discipline the employee consistent with its uniform disciplinary policies because he violated a conduct standard – a prohibition
against employee theft – that is job-related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.
If the employer disciplined the employees with psychiatric disabilities, but has not disciplined non-disabled employees for the same mis-conduct, the employer would be treating them differently because of disability in violation of the ADA.
An employee with major depression works in a warehouse loading boxes onto pallets. He has no customer contact or regular contact with other employees. Over several weeks, he has come to work looking increasingly disheveled, with ill-fitting and torn clothes. He has become increasingly anti-social: Coworkers complain that he is abrupt and rude. His work, however, has not suffered. The employer’s policies state that employees should have a neat appearance at all times and that employees should be courteous to each other. The employer disciplines him for his appearance and treatment
of coworkers. At the meeting, the employee explains that his appearance and demeanor have deteriorated because of his worsening major depression.
In this situation, the dress code and coworker courtesy rules are not job-related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity. The employee has no customer contact or regular contact with other employees. The performance of the employee’s job has not decreased. Rigid application of these conduct rules to this employee would violate the ADA.
BOOK REVIEW: Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War
A Liberian activist discusses how she united Christian and Muslim women to campaign for an end to war in her country.
In a time of death and terror, Leymah Gbowee brought Liberia’s women together—and together they led a nation to peace.
As a young woman, Leymah Gbowee was broken by the Liberian civil war, a brutal conflict that tore apart her life and claimed the lives of countless relatives and friends. Years of fighting destroyed her country—and shattered Gbowee’s girlhood hopes and dreams. As a young mother trapped in a nightmare of domestic abuse, she found the courage to turn her bitterness into action, propelled by her realization that it is women who suffer most during conflicts—and that the power of women working together can create an unstoppable force. In 2003, the passionate and charismatic Gbowee helped organize and then led the Liberian Mass Action for Peace, a coalition of Christian and Muslim women who sat in public protest, confronting Liberia’s ruthless president and rebel warlords, and even held a sex strike. With an army of women, Gbowee helped lead her nation to peace—in the process emerging as an international leader who changed history. Mighty Be Our Powers is the gripping chronicle of a journey from hopelessness to empowerment that will touch all who dream of a better world
Carol “Lynn” Bigley was a former chairperson of the Human Rights Commission when the commission was known as the Human Relations Commission. She was the first woman chair of the Commission and served the commission admirably. She was a champion of civil rights issues in Columbus during her tenure as the chairperson. Lynn was one of the first women to serve on the City Council and she was also very vocal about her support for the Human Rights Commission while a council woman. We thank her for her service to the community. Lynn was always devoted to Columbus and she will be truly missed. The Human Rights Commission sends its condolences to her family.