Federal and state governments have enacted laws to protect against discrimination and sexual harassment in the work place yet employers continue to discriminate and violate employee’s right to work in a non-hostile environment. We have chosen Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Company to examine class action status, discrimination and sexual harassment in the work place. This was the case first sexual harassment lawsuit to receive class action certification in 1988 defining the class “to include: all women who have applied for, or have been employed, in hourly positions…at any time since December 30, 1983” (U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, 1997).
The federal rule involved in this case is Title VII that makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee in regards to his or her compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of the employee’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin (U.S. EEOC, n.d.). The Minnesota Human Rights Act also provides protection from illegal discrimination making it “illegal to treat [you] differently because [you] belong to a certain group or ‘protected class’ of people” (Minnesota Department of Human Rights, 2013) Issue
State laws may vary on the issue of same-sex harassment” (Larson, 2003). There is no reason for sexual harassment, and even though this law was in place when this lawsuit went to district court, it was still one of the biggest cases of its time and brought a lot of recognition to the fact that sexual discrimination was still taking place while management sat idly by and let it happen. Lois Jenson was diagnosed with PTSD shortly after she stopped working at the mine in 1992, and I am sure many other women are suffering from that as well as other mental ailments that will never truly be cured. Recommend what management might be able to do to pursue alternative resolutions (outside of court). With the sexual harassment law in place, management should take the proper steps to ensure all of its workers are properly educated on the matter with designated programs.
The sources of law that are the most relevant in this case and the way management could had leverage knowledge of those sources to prevent similar instances in the future. This case brought to light a lot of sexual harassment going on in the workplace, not only at the Eveleth Taconite Co., but across the United States. “Employees are protected under both state and federal law against workplace sexual harassment. Federal law remedies for workplace discrimination are based upon Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [FN1], which applies to employers with fifteen or more employees. People who work for smaller employers are usually protected by similar state anti-discrimination laws. Under federal law, same-sex sexual harassment can support a claim against an employer. Rule
The rule involved in this case is Title VII that makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee in regards to his or her compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of the employee’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The case of Lois E. Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co., must have the necessary evidence for the court to make a decision. The evidence that is needed in this case is that a “class of plaintiffs must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant engaged in a “pattern or practice of unlawful discrimination in various company policies. A pattern or practice is present when “the discriminatory acts were not isolated, insignificant or sporadic, but were repeated, routine, or of a generalized nature” (JENSON v. EVELETH TACONITE CO., 1993). Application
Discrimination is something that no one should be part of, experience or tolerate. This is how Jenson and her fellow woman peers felt about working at Eveleth Taconite Co. These woman worked alongside many men who used abusive language, stalking, threats, intimidation, and sexual harassment. Jenson tried fighting for herself and others by filing a complaint, but that made matters worse because then the retaliation was slashed tires. This lead to Jenson asking for compensation for damages and mental anguish, but Eveleth Taconite Co. did not agree. Eventually Jenson left because of post-traumatic stress disorder. After years of fighting they finally came to an agreement and settled outside of court. Eveleth Taconite Co. should have handled the situation from the beginning by having classes and training on sexual harassment and holding people accountable to not have a hostile work environment. Instead they chose to hide it, and not treat all their employees especially the woman equally.
That was a hard and expensive lesson they had to learn, but it allowed to show other companies to be aware of sexual harassment, and to know that isn’t something that should be acceptable. The court case Lois E. Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co brings attention of the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace. The rule that is applied discrimination. The Application was a lawsuit that was eventually settled outside the court room. The rules and regulations are put in place to help the courts determine the proper actions to take once the rules and regulations are breached. The use IRAC analysis determined the Issue, Rule, Application and Conclusion.
JENSON v. EVELETH TACONITE CO.. (1993). Retrieved from http://www.leagle.com/decision/19931671824FSupp847_11556.xml/JENSON%20v.%20EVELETH%20TACONITE%20CO. U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit. (December 5, 1997). Jenson v. Eveleth Taconite Co. Retrieved August 4, 2014: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-8th-circuit/1136685.html#footnote_2 U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (n.d.). Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Retrieved August 4, 2014: http://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/titlevii.cfm Minnesota Department of Human Rights (May 2013). Your Rights under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Retrieved August 4, 2014: 2014:http://mn.gov/mdhr/yourrights/PDF/01aboutMDHR_ENG.pdf
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