Answer: Cell phone pornography, sexist and religious comments, hostile work environment and inattention to work.
Question: Who are Dr. Cercioglu and Mount Saint Sinai Hospital? ABC news reported last week that Sandra Morris, a hospital technician at Mount Saint Sinai Hospital in New York, worked in an operating room where Dr. Cercioglu, a cardiovascular perfusionist and her immediate supervisor, allegedly watched X-rated movies on his cell phone while he was operating equipment that keeps patients alive while undergoing bypass surgery. Dr. Cercioglu also allegedly called her a "dumb Jew bitch" and a JAP, short for Jewish American Princess, in front of co-workers at a farewell party. Morris also alleges that Dr. Lazala, a cardiothoracic surgeon and a second supervisor, stated that she could not work on some cases "because she doesn't have a dick" and that they would "never hire a woman again". On July 31, 2012, Ms. Morris filed a lawsuit against the hospital and Dr. Cercioglu alleging sex and religious discrimination, a hostile work environment alleging that other perfusionists "routinely joked about his behavior", and that she was not paid the proper amount for overtime. She was fired after being off work for 6 months on unpaid leave as the result of an on-the-job injury.
Answer: The EEOC is about to file many lawsuits around the country.
Question: What is about to happen as we approach September 30, the end of the governments' fiscal year? The EEOC historically waits until the last minute to file the vast majority of their lawsuits around the country. I anticipate a large number being filed during the next 30 days. If your company has been involved in an investigation by the EEOC, and have been unsuccessful in the conciliation process, be on the lookout for a possible lawsuit.
Answer: Acting in Bad Faith.
Question: What can you say about a governmental agency that doesn't follow its own requirements about investigation and resolving charges? The EEOC has been under fire around the country for not acting in good faith during the conciliation process, which is mandatory before it files suit. In EEOC v. La Rana Hawaii, LLC, decided on August 22, 2012, the District Court relied on the case of EEOC v. Pierce Packing in finding that the EEOC must actually investigate charges that are filed with it and then enter into good faith conciliation in an attempt to resolve the charges. These are conditions precedent that must be met before the EEOC can file a lawsuit in it's own name. As stated by Molly DiBianca in her Delaware Employment Law Blog, "Specific problems that the court identified included the EEOC's "obstinate refusal" to provide the defendants with any specific information about he class members or the allegedly unlawful acts. This refusal constituted a failure to demonstrate a "willingness to work toward settlement." The court found that the EEOC's "take it or leave it" offer further demonstrated the insufficiency of its efforts". The court stayed the case while ordering the parties to engage in good faith conciliation.
Answer: Emoticon-laced emails.
Question: What is the most frequent cause of office romances? According to the Huffington Post, a study by the dating site Whatsyourprice.com, shows that almost 45% of women and 59% of men who were romantically involved with a co-worker say that the relationship began with an emoticon in an email or text message. 71% of women and 90% of men reported that receiving a winky face indicates the possibility of a romantic involvement or a first date. Finally, 85% of those between 18 and 29 said they would have a romantic relationship with a colleague, and 40% said they would date their supervisors.
And the Winner is.......All of us. Have a wonderful Labor Day.