Clothing shoppers in Missouri may be interested to know that according to an annual report released by American Apparel, numerous high-profile sexual harassment cases that involved the firm's CEO, Dov Charney, may have been fraudulent. At one point, Mr. Charney was implicated in seven separate cases of allegedly initiating unwanted sexual contact with advertising models and female employees at his company. In one case, he stood accused of imprisoning one woman in his apartment for sexual purposes. American Apparel's report revealed that out of the numerous cases against the CEO, the only one that remains outstanding does not actually accuse Mr. Charney. This class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of all the female workers of the firm, and it accuses an unspecified worker. Other cases that remain in arbitration were settled without monetary liability to American Apparel, and the firm concluded that these matters would not have a negative effect on its business.
The Missouri House recently passed a bill that may change the way that workplace lawsuits are handled. If the legislation is approved by the state's senate and governor, individuals who file workplace discrimination lawsuits will have to prove that discrimination was a "motivating" rather than a "contributing" factor.This is not the first time that this type of legislation has been proposed. Similar bills were vetoed by the governor in 2011 and 2012. Proponents of the bill state that its passage will reduce the number of frivolous lawsuits filed in the state. They believe that the law will lead to greater job creation and attract businesses to move to the state, and they also claim that the law will bring the state in line with federal regulations regarding workplace discrimination.
Although Texas has more construction worker fatalities than any other state, most of its workers don't receive compensation. A majority earn extremely low wages, and almost one-fourth of workers have come forward with allegations that their employers withheld or denied them payment for the work they performed. Although state wage laws do exist in Texas, reports and surveys show that employers in some regions pay far less than in others. Members of the San Juan, Texas-based labor organization La Union del Pueblo Entero, or LUPE, regularly report wage theft to organization staff. LUPE includes 7,000 members, and about half of them hold jobs in construction fields. Like Texas, Missouri has minimum wage laws for workers and minimum-age limits established to prevent child workers from participating in hazardous occupations. Although there are no legally mandated requirements for providing workers with breaks with the exception of the entertainment industry, the Missouri Department of Labor notes that doing so is up to the employer's discretion. In the example of Texas, many workers who do not receive adequate wages leave the area for better paying jobs elsewhere.
Sexual harassment at the workplace happens in every state, including Missouri and Kansas. Most of the time sexual harassment claims do not become public news and are often not even reported by employees. Sexual harassment has a severe emotional impact on the victim and can also impact the victim's professional career.
Usually the term workplace discrimination refers to discriminatory actions by an employer against an employee. Most discussions about this topic focus on the toll the discrimination takes on the employee and whether the employee was able to prevail in a related lawsuit. Since these topics are very pertinent to Missouri employment matters, the topic of the employer's cost for workplace discrimination is often overshadowed.
Sexual harassment at the workplace is an illegal act in Missouri. Employers can be held responsible for sexual harassment or related consequences that happen when the employee is at work. An employer was recently held responsible for the sexual harassment an employee endured in 2009.