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DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Holds that a Hostile Work Environment Claim Based on Age Discrimination Can Proceed

The workforce is aging and this changes how we look at safety.  It also means we need to pay attention to how we treat older workers.  An article yesterday on the New York Injury News blog reported that:

"Over a two-month period, the plaintiff’s supervisor made daily age-based and religion-based comments to the plaintiff. The plaintiff quit work and filed suit, alleging a hostile work environment claim based on age, religion harassment, and constructive discharge. The trial court granted summary judgment for the employer. The plaintiff appealed."

The appeals court determined that the age-based hostile work environment claim could move ahead because the age-based comments made by the supervisor  resulted in this being a hostile workplace.  Creating a "hostile workplace" or conducting "unlawful harassment" is a form of discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other federal authority.  The FCC web site defines this as:

"Hostile work environment harassment occurs when unwelcome comments or conduct based on sex, race or other legally protected characteristics unreasonably interferes with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. Anyone in the workplace might commit this type of harassment – a management official, co-worker, or non-employee, such as a contractor, vendor or guest. The victim can be anyone affected by the conduct, not just the individual at whom the offensive conduct is directed."

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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