A state-by-state review of court cases pertaining to workplace rights.
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D.M. Council Approves $60,000 Settlement for Harassment Claim
Source: Jason Pulliam, Des Moines Register
Date: February 15, 2011
A $60,000 payment to settle a harassment and discrimination lawsuit filed by a city employee was approved today by the Des Moines City Council.
Employment Bias Lawsuit Against State Gets Class-Action Status
Source: Jason Clayworth, Des Moines Register
Date: September 29, 2010
Litigation filed against Iowa's state government for discriminatory hiring practices was certified as a class-action lawsuit Tuesday by a Polk County district judge.
Court Orders EEOC to Pay CRST $4.5 Million
Source: Land Line Mag, Land Line Mag
Date: February 15, 2010
A federal judge has ordered a federal agency to pay CRST Van Expedited Inc. a whopping $4.5 million after the agency failed to make a sexual harassment case against the Cedar Rapid, IA, trucking company.
After Iowa Raid, Immigrants Fuel Labor Inquiries
Source: Julia Preston, New York Times
Date: July 27, 2008
When federal immigration agents raided the kosher meatpacking plant here in May and rounded up 389 illegal immigrants, they found more than 20 under-age workers, some as young as 13. Now those young immigrants have begun to tell investigators about their jobs. Some said they worked shifts of 12 hours or more, wielding razor-edged knives and saws to slice freshly killed beef. Some worked through the night, sometimes six nights a week.
Judge awards women $3.4 mil in Dial lawsuit
Source: Arizona Republic
Date: September 30, 2005
Dial Corp. must pay $3.4 million to 52 women who were denied entry-level jobs at its Iowa meat-packing plant after failing a strength test. The women said Dial discriminated against them by unnecessarily requiring the test for employment at its meat packing plant in Fort Madison, Iowa. About 60% of women failed the test, while nearly all men passed, according to the EEOC, which filed the suit on behalf of the women. An Iowa jury in August 2004 found intentional discrimination. [A] U.S. District Judge upheld the decision in February and awarded damages on Thursday. The EEOC said the strength test was more difficult than the job.
Fired transsexual worker in Iowa sues
Source: Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press, Newsday.com
Date: June 8, 2004
A transsexual worker at an Iowa tractor dealership has sued her former employer, claiming she was fired solely because she was changing her gender identity from male to female. Lauren Jansen, formerly Larry Jansen, claims in the lawsuit filed Monday that the Murphy Tractor and Equipment Co. and its president violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Courts historically have ruled that transsexuals are not a protected class under federal and states' civil rights laws, but transgender advocates say that is changing. Last week, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati became the first federal appeals court to extend the Civil Rights Act to protect people who change their sex against workplace discrimination.
$1.5 Million Given in Sexual Harassment Case
Eckhoff, Des Moines Register
Date: April 23, 2004
A U.S. District Court jury on Thursday awarded $1.5 million to a Des Moines woman who claimed she was sexually harassed while working for a company that makes glass refrigeration cases used in grocery stores. Patricia Fulkerson of Des Moines alleged in a lawsuit that she was repeatedly harassed during the two years she worked among mostly male employees of Borgen Systems Ultra Cool Corp. Court papers alleged that Fulkerson was called a variety of names by the men she worked with between 1999 and 2001. She was repeatedly grabbed by co-workers, according to court documents, and forced to work among photos of women "in sexual positions and various stages of undress." When Fulkerson complained, Borgen Systems bosses failed to stop the behavior, she alleged.
UI Discrimination Suit Could Turn Class Action
Source: Susan Harman, Iowa City Press-Citizen
Date: June 19, 2003
A University of Iowa employee who sued the school claiming its parental leave policy discriminates on the basis of gender, has filed a similar lawsuit in federal court. David A. Johnson asked the federal court to certify the case as a class action. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Iowa and names the university, the Iowa state Board of Regents, UI President David Skorton, Vice President for Finance and Operations and Treasurer Doug True and Susan Buckley, associate vice president in the university's department of human resources. The federal lawsuit has parallel claims to those made in state court. It alleges UI's parental leave policy violates Title VII in that it treats men differently in terms and conditions of employment, and the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Johnson asked that the court declare the policy illegal, order UI to refrain from enforcing the policy and to award damages including attorney fees.