Labor Law Guy

Many Companies Suddenly Facing First-Ever EEOC Claims

Posted in Federal Labor Law by laborlawguy on November 3, 2009

With unemployment soaring and the job marketing languishing in the doldrums, laid-off and even currently working employees are turning to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) for redress of wrongs, real or imagined.

Many companies are reporting their first-ever EEOC complaints springing from allegations of various forms of discrimination, usually in the workforce reduction process.

No statistics exist yet for 2009, but for 2008 overall EEOC claims jumped 28 percent from 83,000 to 95,000. Discrimination claims were likewise up by 28 percent, while retaliation claims jumped 22 percent. Retaliation, employment lawyers say, is the new lawsuit du jour.

Employees are no longer waiting for the proverbial axe to fall before filing EEOC complaints. Some are using EEOC claims as a pre-emptive strike to avoid being laid off. As one lawyer explained: “If I’m causing a fuss about something, you won’t pick me to lay off…and, if I am let go, then I’ll claim retaliation.”

The EEOC is more than happy to oblige the claimants. The agency this year has already hired 170 new field investigators to check out the claims.

‘Tis the season of “employer, beware.”

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EEOC Sues Strip Club for Firing 56-Year-Old Waitress

Posted in Federal Labor Law, Random Musings, State Labor Law by laborlawguy on May 14, 2009

I stumbled upon this attorney’s employment law blog that focuses on the bizarre, humorous and unusual in case law (Wal-Mart execs dressed in drag and filmed at a meeting, for instance).

On his site, CurrentEmployment.net, Tim Eavenson brings up the tale of a lawsuit filed this past week by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against a strip club that burned to the ground–two years ago.

However, the year before the club’s demise, the owners of Cover Girls in Houston had fired 56-year-old Mary Bassi, who had waited tables there for nigh on to 15 years and raked in almost $100K a year from a loyal suite of customers. Younger babes were seen taking her place.

Bassi says the bosses used to call her “old” and make jokes at her expense about Alzheimer’s.

Meanwhile, the suit will go on because the owners also operated four other Houston strip clubs. Bassi, now 59, is working for a competitor. I wonder if her loyal customers followed her over to the competition.