Magazine article Personnel Journal

Updates to Earlier Items

Magazine article Personnel Journal

Updates to Earlier Items

Article excerpt

UPDATE TO "MANAGER'S Newsfront", January 1994. Harris Awarded More Than $150,000. A woman whose lawsuit created new sexual harassment standards in the workplace as a result of a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc. has obtained a recommendation from a magistrate judge that she should receive $151,435 in back pay, bonuses and interest from Forklift Systems. The magistrate judge also recommended that the employer be enjoined from engaging in conduct of a hostile nature toward women, and that it adopt a sexual harassment policy recommended by the EEOC. A U.S. district court will make a final ruling on the recommendations.

In this case, Harris claimed that Charles Hardy, the president of Forklift Systems, had suggested they negotiate a raise in a motel, referred to her with profanity, and sometimes asked female employees to retrieve coins from his front pants pockets. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in November 1993 that psychological harm did not have to be proven to make the company liable for sexual harassment; and that Harris need only show that the conditions of her employment were different because of her sex.

The magistrate judge had originally concluded that Hardy's comments were not "gross and offensive" and did not establish an abusive environment. In his recent decision, the magisb-ate judge concluded that "given the test set out in this case by the Supreme Court...I conclude that the totality of the circumstances establish that the working environment at the defendant's business was abusive." Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc. DC MTenn, No. 3:89-0557 (September 15, 1994).

Update to '"Manager's Newsfront", February 1993.

7th Circuit OKs NLRB's Electromation Decision. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled that the National Labor Relations Board's Electromation decision dealing with employee participation committees is consistent with both the Wagner and Taft-Hartley Acts. In December 1992, the Board concluded that Electromation had violated the Taft-Hartley Act by creating employee committees where the employer determined the committee subject matter, appointed a manager to coordinate and monitor the meetings, placed two management representatives on each committee, and permitted managers to review and reject committee proposals before they could be presented to upper-level management.

The Seventh Circuit held that the Board had correctly concluded that each of the action committees set up by the employer was designed by the employer to function as a union and, therefore, violated Section 8(a)(2) of the Taft-Hartley Act, which prohibits an employer from dominating or interfering with the formation or administration of any labor organization. …

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