Month: December 2021

Is Asking a Co-Worker on a Date Sexual Harassment?

With the recent focus on the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment, many employees may be questioning their own judgment when it comes to interactions with co-workers. It is not always easy to discern the difference between sincere communication with good intentions, and unlawful sexual harassment.

And no one wants to end up with a sexual harassment lawsuit or accused of sexual misconduct, so a brief refresher is in order.

It is probably not sexual harassment if you ask a colleague out on a date. In fact, a study from the popular job site CareerBuilder found that nearly 40 percent of participants have dated a co-worker, and 31 percent ended up marrying someone with whom they worked.

However, not all employees take no for an answer that easily. Persistent overtures that are obviously unwelcome or cross the line into more serious and threatening behaviors may be sexual discrimination. And that is illegal in the United States.

This discussion focuses on sexual harassment laws in Pennsylvania and practical guidelines to keep your office relationships appropriate and professional.

What Is Considered Sexual Harassment under the Law?

If you have a romantic interest in someone you work with, it is normal to be apprehensive about asking them on a date. With all the talk of workplace harassment in the news lately, you may be questioning what is, and what is not, acceptable behavior.

The Harvard Crimson Year In Review

At Harvard, 2021 was a year marked by change. The school’s long-awaited return to in-person operations injected new life into a campus that had been left dormant for over a year by Covid-19. And in an unexpected shift, the University announced its intention to divest its endowment from fossil fuels after a decade of public pressure. Separately, faculty controversies — including a federal conviction and a high-profile departure — ignited debates that rippled across academia. Below, The Crimson looks back at the 10 stories that shaped the last year at Harvard.

Throwing out the $4.5 billion settlement with Purdue Pharma is the right call

A federal judge’s decision to overturn a $4.5 billion settlement between Purdue Pharma and assorted state, local, and tribal governments is the right call. The settlement wrongly shielded the billionaire Sackler family, who owned the company that made the prescription painkiller OxyContin, from any and all civil liability in opioid-related tragedies.

As reported by The New York Times, the settlement was part of a complex restructuring plan for Purdue Pharma that was approved in September by a bankruptcy judge. But Judge Colleen McMahon of the US District of New York pulled the plug on it, because it protected the Sackler family from future civil lawsuits. After the Sacklers took more than $10 billion out of it, Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy. The Sacklers, who did not file for personal bankruptcy, offered to contribute toward the original settlement, “if – and only if – every member of the family could ‘achieve global peace’ from all civil [not criminal] litigation,” the judge wrote. And that, she said, was wrong. She did, however, also call the legal issue of the Sacklers’ release “a great unsettled question” of bankruptcy law and wrote, “This opinion will not be the last word on the subject, nor should it.”

Gov. Gianforte Reaffirms Montana Law Banning Discrimination Based On Vaccination Status

Governor Greg Gianforte has provided guidance to Montana employers and employees impacted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule mandating vaccines for employers with 100 or more employees nationwide. 

“Montana law is unequivocal: employers are prohibited from discriminating based on vaccination status,” Gov. Gianforte wrote in guidance to Montanans. “While employers may encourage employees to vaccinate, they may not tie or modify any terms of employment based on vaccination status.”

On Nov. 5, 2021, OSHA published the “COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard” applicable to employers with 100 or more employees nationwide. The OSHA mandate violates Montana law prohibiting discrimination based on a person’s vaccination status. 

The OSHA mandate was immediately challenged, and its enforcement was stayed nationwide by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals until Dec.17, 2021, when the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling allowing implementation of the OSHA mandate. The Sixth Circuit ruling has also been challenged and is presently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Truck Accidents Are Becoming More Severe

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the average cost of a commercial truck accident in which one person is injured is $148, 279. If more than one person is injured in a trucking accident, the costs rise exponentially to $7,2 million. This number does not include the rising costs of truck repairs and liability claims. As accidents become more frequent, claim costs are almost twice as likely to exceed $100,000.

Trucks carry 80% of the nation’s cargo, but there are more trucks on the road today than ever before. The number of truck accidents has increased along with the number of fatalities on the highways. Large truck crashes accounted for 11% of all motor vehicle accident deaths in 2018. According to the American Trucking Association, commercial trucks were involved in 59% more accidents per mile in 2017 than in 2010, despite newer technology and better regulations. In addition, the number of people who died in large truck crashes in 2018 was 31% higher than in 2009, when the rate was at its lowest since 1975, when statistics on fatal crashes began.

Still have questions?

Call (877) 932-2628 and speak with one of our legal funding experts.

* Word-Use Disclaimer

Legal funding is not a loan. It is the non-recourse purchase of an equitable lien in plaintiffs’ legal claims. Words such as ‘loans,’ ‘lending,’ ‘borrow,’ etc., are used for marketing purposes only.
More info

TriMark Legal Funding LLC
1056 Green Acres Rd #102
Eugene, OR 97408