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Court Case related to the topic Sexual Harrasment at Workplace - Essay Example

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The case identified some of the circumstances in which employers could be held responsible under Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964. The…
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Court Case related to the topic Sexual Harrasment at Workplace
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Sexual Harassment at Workplace College: Sexual Harassment at Workplace Faragher against the of Boca Raton was a case that was handled by the Supreme Court of the United States in the year 1998. The case identified some of the circumstances in which employers could be held responsible under Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964. The employer could be held liable following the actions and suggestions of supervisory employee that has caused sexual intimidation to his subordinates. Thus, resulting in an unfriendly working environment that is equivalent to employment discrimination. In this particular case, the petitioner, Beth Ann Faragher was a lifeguard, but had resigned from her position. She had worked as a part-time lifeguard for the Marine Safety Section (Buchanan & Wiswall, 2009). During her tenure, her immediate supervisors were Bill Terry, David Silverman, and Robert Gordon. After her resignation in 1990, she took an action against Terry, Silverman, and the City. Faragher complained that both Terry and Silverman had repeatedly created a sexually unfriendly environment while at the beach. Also, she alleged that the duo had subjected fellow female lifeguards to offensive and uninvited touch by the use of prurient remarks and by speaking of women in decadent ways. The complainant said that at some point, Terry had vowed never to give a promotion to any woman. On the other hand, Faragher specified that at one point, Silverman asked her to date him and failure to which he would make her clean the lavatories for a whole year. Pointing out that both Terry and Silverman were agents of the City and that their conduct resulted in discrimination in their conditions, privileges, and terms given by the employment, the complainant sought judgment against the City.
Initially, Faragher had not complained to the higher management about both Terry and Silverman. At first, she reported the matter to Gordon, who was the training captain and was working with Silverman. However, Gordon reported the matter to his supervisor, Terry and afterward took no action since he felt that the City could not be concerned about such issues. Faragher’s bench trial realized that two months before her resignation, a former lifeguard had written to the City’s Personnel Director, with complaints of harassment she had faced from Terry and Silverman. After the complaints, the City concluded that the duo had misbehaved and were therefore reprimanded. They were required to choose between facing a suspension without pay and forfeiting their annual leave. From these findings, the District Court that was dealing with Faragher’s case concluded that Terry and Silverman’s conduct was discriminatory in nature (Buchanan & Wiswall, 2009). Also, the court ruled that the harassment was enough to alter Faragher’s conditions for employment. Besides, their conduct constituted an abusive working environment where Faragher could not fit. In addition, the District Court ruled that it had three justifications that it held the City liable for the harassment of its supervisory workers. The first one was that the court noted that the harassment was pervasive enough, and it could support a deduction that the City had a hint on the issue. Second, the Court ruled that the City was liable following the traditional agency principles. The reason for the second ruling was that both Terry and Silverman were acting as the City’s agent when they committed the acts. Lastly, the Court made the observation that the knowledge that Gordon had concerning the harassment together with his actions gave an incredible basis for the placing liability on the City. Resultantly, the District Court awarded the complainant a dollar as the nominal damages on her Title VII claim.
References
Buchanan, P., & Wiswall, C. W. (2009). Evolving Understanding of Workplace Harassment and Employer Liability: Implications of Recent Supreme Court Decisions under Title VII, The. Wake Forest L. Rev., 34, 55. Read More
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