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Sexual harassment and continues to be a substantial problem in the workplace with thousands of women and some men reporting claims to state and federal agencies.  Our office handles sexual harassment claims on a contingency basis.   If we accept your case, we are paid only upon success by way of judgment or settlement.  The knowledgeable employee with a claim will want to be familiar with when the employer is responsible for its employee's wrongful acts.  Our office generally handles claims on a contingency basis, meaning the only fees are due from the other party or at the time of settlement. 

1. Types of Sexual Harassment Claims

There are two basic types: quid pro quo where employment, promotion, or benefits are associated with sexual favors and hostile work environment where an employee is subject to intimidating or hostile conduct in her workplace.  

In defining "sexual harassment," the Guidelines first describe the kinds of workplace conduct that may be actionable under Title VII. These include "[u]unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature." 29 CFR § 1604.11(a) (1985). Relevant to the charges at issue in this case, the Guidelines provide that such sexual misconduct constitutes prohibited "sexual harassment," whether or not it is directly linked to the grant or denial of an economic quid pro quo, where "such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment." § 1604.11(a)(3).

Examples of sexual harassment include

2. Sexual Assault

Others have spoken of sexual assault by an employer.  Several women have accused a Hollywood manager sexual assault saying they were  drugged and raped at his home.   


3. Case Excerpt


Justice Souter, delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case calls for identification of the circumstances under which an employer may be held liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 78 Stat. 253, as amended, 42 U. S. C. § 2000e et seq., for the acts of a supervisory employee whose sexual harassment of subordinates has created a hostile work environment amounting to employment discrimination. We hold that an employer is vicariously liable for actionable discrimination caused by a supervisor, but subject to an affirmative defense looking to the reasonableness of the employer's conduct as well as that of a plaintiff victim.


These standards for judging hostility are sufficiently demanding to ensure that Title VII does not become a "general civility code." Id., at 80. Properly applied, they will filter out complaints attacking "the ordinary tribulations of the workplace, such as the sporadic use of abusive language, gender-related jokes, and occasional teasing." B. Lindemann & D. Kadue, Sexual Harassment in Employment Law 175 (1992) (hereinafter Lindemann & Kadue) (footnotes omitted). We have made it clear that conduct must be extreme to amount to a change in the terms and conditions of employment, and the Courts of Appeals have heeded this view. See,  See also 1 Lindemann & Grossman 805-807, n. 290 (collecting cases granting summary judgment for employers because the alleged harassment was not actionably severe or pervasive).

While indicating the substantive contours of the hostile environments forbidden by Title VII, our cases have established few definite rules for determining when an employer will be liable for a discriminatory environment that is otherwise actionably abusive. Given the circumstances of many of the litigated cases, including some that have come to us, it is not surprising that in many of them, the issue has been joined over the sufficiency of the abusive conditions, not the standards for determining an employer's liability for them. There have, for example, been myriad cases in which District Courts and Courts of Appeals have held employers liable on account of actual knowledge by the employer, or highechelon officials of an employer organization, of sufficiently harassing action by subordinates, which the employer or its informed officers have done nothing to stop. See, e. g., Katz v. Dole, 709 F. 2d 251, 256 (CA4 1983) (upholding employer liability because the "employer's supervisory personnel manifested unmistakable acquiescence in or approval of the harassment"); EEOC v. Hacienda Hotel, 881 F. 2d 1504, 1516 (CA9 1989) (employer liable where hotel manager did not respond to complaints about supervisors' harassment); Hall v. Gus Constr. Co., 842 F. 2d 1010, 1016 (CA8 1988) (holding employer liable for harassment by co-workers because supervisor knew of the harassment but did nothing). In such instances, the combined knowledge and inaction may be seen as demonstrable negligence, or as the employer's adoption of the offending conduct and its results, quite as if they had been authorized affirmatively as the employer's policy. Cf. Oncale, supra, at 77 (victim reported his grounds for fearing rape to company's safety supervisor, who turned him away with no action on complaint).

Courts of Appeals have typically held, or assumed, that conduct similar to the subject of this complaint falls outside the scope of employment. See, e. g., Harrison, 112 F. 3d, at 1444 (sexual harassment "`simply is not within the job description of any supervisor or any other worker in any reputable business' "); 111 F. 3d, at 1535-1536 (case below); Andrade v. Mayfair Management, Inc., 88 F. 3d 258, 261 (CA4 1996) ("[I]llegal sexual harassment is . . . beyond the scope of supervisors' employment"); Gary, 59 F. 3d, at 1397 (harassing supervisor acts outside the scope of his employment 794*794 in creating hostile environment); Nichols v. Frank, 42 F. 3d 503, 508 (CA9 1994) ("The proper analysis for employer liability in hostile environment cases is . . . not whether an employee was acting within his `scope of employment' "); Bouton v. BMW of North Am., Inc., 29 F. 3d 103, 107 (CA3 1994) (sexual harassment is outside scope of employment); see also Ellerth v. Burlington Industries, Inc., decided with Jansen v. Packaging Corp. of America, 123 F. 3d 490, 561 (CA7 1997) (en banc) (Manion, J., concurring and dissenting) (supervisor's harassment would fall within scope of employment only in "the rare case indeed"), aff'd, ante, p. 742; Lindemann & Grossman 812 ("Hostile environment sexual harassment normally does not trigger respondeat superior liability because sexual harassment rarely, if ever, is among the official duties of a supervisor"). But cf. Martin v. Cavalier Hotel Corp., 48 F. 3d 1343, 1351-1352 (CA4 1995) (holding employer vicariously liable in part based on finding that the supervisor's rape of employee was within the scope of employment); Kauffman v. Allied Signal, Inc., 970 F. 2d 178, 184 (CA6) (holding that a supervisor's harassment was within the scope of his employment, but nevertheless requiring the victim to show that the employer failed to respond adequately when it learned of the harassment),  In so doing, the courts have emphasized that harassment consisting of unwelcome remarks and touching is motivated solely by individual desires and serves no purpose of the employer. For this reason, courts have likened hostile environment sexual harassment to the classic "frolic and detour" for which an employer has no vicarious liability.


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