Reading Assignment #1 by Linglin Li
A Manager’s Primer For Sexual Harassment In The Workplace
Rober K. Robinson & Dwight D. Frink
* Sexual harassment charge has been actionable for only 25 years under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. * There has been a significant development in sexual harassment case law and litigation after William v. Saxbe case 1976. These developments include：
(1) Nationwide legal recognition of same sex-sexual harassment.
(2) Equal opportunity harassment.
(3) Increase standards on employer liability for sexual harassment perpetrate by supervisory and managerial personnel.
(4) Guideline for mitigating damages when employer is found liable. * ESTABLISHING ACTIONABLE SEXUAL HARASSMENT
‘Actionable sexual harassment’ means sexual harassment for which there are legal grounds for action in a court of law.
Four conditions or proofs must be satisfied in order to establish sexual harassment as actionable under Title VII: (1) The alleged victim must belong to a class or group protected under Title VII (It should be noted that an employee who is being harassed because he or she is gay, lesbian, or a transvestite is not protected under Title VII). (2) The alleged victim must be subjected to unwelcome sexual harassment. (3) The sexual harassment in question must be shown to have been based on the alleged victim’s sex. (4) The fourth condition varies based on the type of sexual harassment involved. (a) Quid Pro Quo Sexual Harassment: it occurs when submission or rejection of sexual advances is made explicitly or implicitly a condition of the victim’s employment. (b) Hostile Environment Sexual Harassment: it refers to those behaviors that would create an abusive work environment.
-This type of harassment can be established by satisfying a set of legal proofs.
-First 3 conditions are the same as quid pro quo/ the 4th: need to demonstrate that the conduct of a sexual nature was sufficiently severe or pervasive as to have the effect of unreasonably interfering with work performance/ creating ‘an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment’ + need to demonstrate that the harassment was of sufficient severity and occurred frequently enough over a period of time to create an abusive work environment.
-Anyone, or a combination of him or her, would demonstrate a hostile environment sexual harassment claim. - The effect on the employee’s psychological well-beings is also relevant to determining whether the plaintiff actually found the environment abusive.
- Simple teasing, offhand comments, and isolated incidents, unless extremely serious, normally does not arise to the level of an actionable discrimination claim. * SAME-SEX SEXUAL HARASSMENT
-Critical to any sexual harassment claim: complaining party to demonstrate that he/she was treated differently because of her or his sex.
-If the treatment is not differentiated based on sex, there is no Title VII claim.
-There is no protection on the basis of effeminacy, homosexuality, or trans sexuality.
- Title VII protects workers against discrimination based on sex, not sexual orientation or preference.
-The main issue in sexual harassment cases: whether the claimed harassment affected the terms, conditions, or privileges of the plaintiff’s employment. * STRICTER LIABILITY FOR HARASSMENT COMMITED BY SUPERVISORS i) Direct liability: the employer either had to know, or should have known, that the harassment was occurring and then failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective action.
Employers may avoid liability by taking immediate and appropriate corrective action. ii) Indirect liability: employer is liable for the wrongful actions of its employees regardless of whether or not the employer knew, or should have known, of the sexual harassment. Employer is likely to be held responsible when: (1) The unlawful