What the Term "Hostile Work Environment" Means in the World of Title VII Discrimination

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  • 1. WHAT THE TERM “HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT” MEANS IN THE WORLD OF TITLE VII DISCRIMINATION Sarah H. Arnett Tuesday, May 6, 2014 The Little America Hotel 26th ANNUAL EMPLOYMENT LAW SEMINAR parsonsbehle.com
  • 2. 2  The term “hostile work environment” is often misapplied by employees complaining about: • A co-worker who is generally obnoxious • A personality clash with a co-worker or supervisor • Cliquey co-workers, or coworkers who shun him/her • A demanding, nitpicky supervisor • An employer simply enforcing performance standards • A negative performance review What Is A “Hostile Work Environment” ?
  • 3. 3  Hostile work environment is a form of workplace discrimination prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 What Is A “Hostile Work Environment” ?
  • 4. 4  Title VII prohibits employment discrimination based on an employee’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin TITLE VII
  • 5. 5 42 U.S.C.A. § 2000e-2 (Title VII) § 2000e-2. Unlawful employment practices (a) Employer practices It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer-- (1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or (2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. . . . TITLE VII
  • 6. 6 Title VII covers:  All federal agencies;  All state and local government agencies with fifteen (15) or more employees who worked for the agency for at least twenty (20) calendar weeks during either the current or preceding year; and  Private employers who have fifteen (15) or more employees for each working day in each of twenty (20) or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year  Smaller private employers lacking the requisite number of employees can avoid having to defend a Title VII charge of discrimination Title VII Does Not Apply To All Employers
  • 7. 7  Title VII’s prohibition against employment discrimination includes a prohibition against supervisors’ or co-workers’ creation of a work environment which is hostile due to discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, and/or insults based upon an employee’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin Hostile Work Environment
  • 8. 8  To establish a claim for hostile work environment which violates Title VII, an employee must show the following: • (1) The employee has been subjected to discriminatory harassment based on (“because of”) his/her race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; • (2) The harassing conduct is unwelcome; • (3) The harassing conduct is offensive; and • (4) The harassment is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the employee’s employment and thereby create an abusive working environment Elements Of A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 9. 9  Title VII is not a general civility code  Title VII is not intended to protect against “the ordinary tribulations of the workplace” TITLE VII
  • 10. 10  The U.S. Supreme Court has explained the requirements for establishing a Title VII hostile work environment claim are intended to filter out claims simply attacking “the ordinary tribulations of the workplace such as the sporadic use of abusive language, gender- related jokes, and occasional teasing”  A minor isolated incident of harassment by a co-worker will rarely (if ever) give rise to a reasonable fear that sexual harassment has become a permanent feature of the employment relationship  Title VII does not prohibit “genuine but innocuous differences in the ways men and women routinely interact with members of the same sex and the opposite sex” Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 11. 11 Conduct Which Is NOT Discriminatory Harassment Violating Title VII Workplace conduct, which, although inappropriate, but which does not establish a hostile work environment violating Title VII often includes:  Simply causing an employee offense based on an isolated offensive comment  Simple teasing  Offhand comments  Occasional or isolated flirting (not if supervisor implies must submit to advances)  Isolated incidents of unwelcome touching or remarks (unless extremely serious)  Equal opportunity bullying or co-worker intimidation (as long as not motivated by discriminatory animus prohibited by Title VII)  Equal opportunity crude, obnoxious co-worker  Equal opportunity gruff supervisor  Ostracism suffered at the hands of coworkers (an employer cannot force employees to socialize with one another) unless the conduct is motivated by discriminatory animus prohibited by Title VII Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 12. 12 Conduct Which Is Discriminatory Harassment Violating Title VII Discriminatory harassment violating Title VII may consist of a range of conduct, if the conduct is sufficiently severe or pervasive including, but not limited to: Offensive jokes Ridicule Slurs Mockery Epithets Offensive objects Name calling Graffiti Disparaging remarks Sexual touching or assault Verbal intimidation Physical threats, intimidation, or battery Posting or distribution of pornographic or racist materials Interference with the ability to carry out job duties Interference with workplace safety Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 13. 13  Whether or not conduct is discriminatory harassment and sufficiently severe or pervasive to establish a hostile work environment violating Title VII is determined on a case by case basis – i.e. depending upon the facts and circumstances of the specific case Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 14. 14  To establish a Title VII hostile work environment claim, the employee’s working environment must be both subjectively and objectively hostile Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 15. 15 Subjective Hostility  The discriminatory harassment must be subjectively offensive and unwelcome to the employee.  S/he must actually be offended by the conduct  The conduct must also be unwelcome by the employee • The employee’s participation or response in kind to banter, slurs, jokes, or exchange or distribution of sexually oriented or racially derogatory materials may undercut his/her proof of subjective hostility • Caution: The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled: Voluntary participation in sex-related conduct is not a defense simply because the complainant was not forced to participate. The sexual advances and contact will be actionable under Title VII if they were unwelcomed by the complaining employee and s/he is forced to comply with the abuse in return for the privilege of being allowed to work and make a living. Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 16. 16 Objective Hostility  The harassing conduct must also create a working environment which is objectively hostile – i.e. the working environment must be one which a reasonable person would find hostile or abusive Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 17. 17  In evaluating the objective hostility of a work environment, the frequency, severity, and physical or verbal nature of the discriminatory conduct are considered as well as whether or not the conduct is physically threatening or humiliating or a mere offensive utterance and whether the conduct has unreasonably interfered with the employee’s work performance  Discriminatory harassment need not cause diagnosed psychological injury in order for an employee to establish a Title VII hostile work environment claim. It is enough “if such hostile conduct pollutes the victim’s workplace,” making it more difficult for him/her to do his/her job, to take pride in his/her work, and to desire to stay on in his/her position Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 18. 18 HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT BASED UPON AN EMPLOYEE’S RACE  Race discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfavorably because s/he is of a certain race or because of personal characteristics associated with a certain race (-e.g. hair texture, skin color, or certain facial features)  Color discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfavorably because of skin color or complexion  Race/color discrimination also includes treating someone unfavorably because s/he is married to or otherwise associated with a person of a certain race or color or because of a person’s connection with a race-based organization or group or an organization or group that is generally associated with people of a certain color Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 19. 19 NATIONAL ORIGIN DISCRIMINATION  National origin discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfavorably because s/he is from a particular country or part of the world, or because of ethnicity or accent, or because s/he appears to be of a certain ethnic background even if s/he is not  National origin discrimination also occurs when an employee is treated unfavorably because s/he is married to or otherwise associated with a person of a certain national origin or because of that other person’s ethnic organization or group Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 20. 20 HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT BASED UPON AN EMPLOYEE’S SEX  Sex discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfavorably because of his/her sex  Sex discrimination includes harassing a person because of that person’s sex/gender Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 21. 21 SAME-SEX SEXUAL HARASSMENT  The United States Supreme Court has held that Title VII’s prohibition against employment discrimination “because of sex” includes prohibiting same-sex sexual harassment if such harassment is “because of sex.” Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 22. 22 HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT BASED UPON AN EMPLOYEE’S NON-CONFORMANCE WITH SEXUAL STEREOTYPES AND/OR IDENTIFYING AS GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, OR TRANSGENDER  Sex discrimination also includes harassing a person because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (-e.g. harassment because of a person’s non-conformance with sexual stereotypes or because a person has transitioned or is in the process of transitioning from one gender to the other ) Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 23. 23 PREGNANCY DISCRIMINATION  As amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (“PDA”), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides that prohibited employment discrimination “because of sex” or “on the basis of sex” includes discrimination “because of or on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions.” Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 24. 24 EXAMPLES OF EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT CLAIM BASED ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT Meritor Savings Bank v. Michelle Vinson – U.S. Supreme Court (1986)  Michelle Vinson began working as a teller-trainee in 1974 and during four-year employment at branch, she was promoted based upon merit to teller, head teller, and assistant branch manager  Over the course of next three years, Sidney Taylor, a bank vice present and Ms. Vinson’s supervisor, subjected her to continuing sexual conduct and demands: • Began with dinner invitation and then Taylor suggested going to a hotel to have sexual relations. Ms. Vinson at first refused, but eventually agreed out of fear of losing her job Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 25. 25 • Thereafter, Taylor made repeated demands for sexual favors at branch and during and after working hours, including: • intercourse 40-50 times, • fondling Vinson in front of other employees • following Vinson into the women’s restroom when she went in alone • exposing himself to her • forcibly raping her on several occasions  The U.S. Supreme Court held Ms. Vinson had established a hostile work environment sexual harassment claim under Title VII: • Ms. Vinson had presented sufficient evidence to show her supervisor Taylor was sexually harassing her because of her sex • The fact Ms. Vinson voluntarily engaged in sexual acts with Taylor in the sense she was not physically forced to participate against her will is not a defense if the sexual advances are unwelcome • Ms. Vinson did not have to show “economic” or “tangible” loss - the sexual harassment had become a condition of employment polluting the working environment with sex discrimination Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 26. 26 Harris v. Forklift Systems – U.S. Supreme Court (1993)  From April 1985 - October 1987 Teresa Harris worked as a manager at Forklift Systems, Inc., an equipment rental company, during which time she was supervised by Forklift’s president Charles Hardy  Throughout Ms. Harris’ employment Mr. Hardy frequently insulted her because of her gender and made her the target of unwanted sexual innuendos: • on several occasions in front of other employees he told Ms. Harris “You’re a woman, what do you know?” and “We need a man as the rental manager” • he called her “ a dumb ass woman” • in front of others, he suggested that the two of them “go to the Holiday Inn to negotiate [Ms. Harris’] raise” Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 27. 27 • When Ms. Harris was negotiating a deal with a customer, Hardy asked her in front of other employees, “What did you do, promise the guy…some [sex] Saturday night?” • Hardy occasionally asked female employees to get coins from his pants pocket • Hardy would also throw objects down on the ground in front of Harris and other women and ask them to pick the objects up • Hardy would make sexual innuendos about Harris’ and other women’s clothing Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 28. 28  The U.S. Supreme Court held Ms. Harris had established a hostile work environment sexual harassment claim under Title VII: • To be actionable under Title VII as “abusive work environment” harassment, the conduct need not seriously affect an employee’s psychological well- being or lead the employee to suffer injury: “Title VII comes into play before the harassing leads to a nervous breakdown. A discrimatorily abusive working environment, even one that does not seriously affect employees’ psychological well-being, can and often will detract from employees’ job performance, discourage employees from remaining on the job, or keep them from advancing in their careers.”  In this line of cases are those where the employee also establishes tangible economic losses based upon sex discrimination such as unfavorable job assignments, refusal to award bonuses or raises, and failure to promote, etc. Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 29. 29 Faragher v. City of Boca Raton – U.S. Supreme Court (1998)  Between 1985-1990 Beth Ann Faragher was a college student employed as only one of 4-6 female lifeguards out of 40-50 who worked for the employer city  Over the course of her five-year employment her male supervisors perpetrated a continual barrage of unwelcome sexual conduct towards her and other female lifeguards: • chief of marine safety division and Ms. Faragher’s top supervisor had authority to hire lifeguards, to supervise all aspects of their work, assign work, engage in counseling and oral reprimands, make disciplinary record • City had an anti-harassment policy, which apparently was never provided to lifeguard supervisors, who were left alone to operate as they pleased • male supervisors made crudely demeaning references to women generally and to sexual matters Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 30. 30 • chief supervisor repeatedly touched bodies of female employees without invitation • chief supervisor made contact with a female lifeguard in a motion of sexual simulation • a supervisor told a female hiree that female lifeguards had sex with their male counterparts and asked if she would do the same • male lifeguards continually commented on the bodies of female lifeguards and beachgoers • lieutenant supervisor made frequent vulgar references to women and sexual matters • supervisors made sexual overtures towards female lifeguards • Ms. Faragher’s supervisor put his arm around her with his hand on her buttocks • chief supervisor commented disparagingly on Ms. Faragher’s shape • lieutenant commented to Ms. Faragher that but for a physical characteristic he found unattractive he would readily have sexual relations with her Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 31. 31  The U.S. Supreme Court held Ms. Faragher had established a hostile work environment sexual harassment claim under Title VII and the employer City of Boca Raton could be vicariously liable for the conduct of the lifeguard supervisors Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 32. 32 EXAMPLES OF EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT CLAIM BASED ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT Ellison v. Brady – 9th Circuit (1991)  Beginning in 1984 Kerry Ellison was an IRS revenue agent  Beginning in 1986 Ms. Ellison was subjected to escalating harassment by a male co-worker whose desk was in same vicinity  The coworker started by pestering her with unnecessary questions, hanging around her desk, and asking her out for a drink and lunch  He then wrote Ms. Ellison some letters, which although not explicitly sexual in content, could have been interpreted as making sexual references and also demonstrated he was seriously deluded about the nature of their relationship Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 33. 33  Although the IRS took some steps to separate the perpetrator from Ms. Ellison, it did not ensure he was permanently removed from her office, even after he wrote plaintiff another disturbing letter despite having been admonished not to contact her  The 9th Circuit held Ms. Ellison had established harassing conduct by her co-worker which reasonably could be considered sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of her employment and create an abusive working environment: “We believe that in some cases the mere presence of an employee who has engaged in particularly severe or pervasive harassment can create a hostile working environment”  Ms. Ellison had also properly raised an issue as to whether the employer, the IRS, had taken sufficient remedial action to shield it from liability for the hostile work environment Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 34. 34 EXAMPLES OF EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT CLAIM BASED ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT EEOC v. Hacienda Hotel – 9th Circuit (1989): Sexual abuse and harassment of female hotel housekeeping staff and terminating them when they were pregnant Lockard v. Pizza Hut – 10th Circuit (1998): Female waitress established hostile work environment sexual harassment claim based upon one incident of sexual harassment by two male customers for which employer could be found liable Brooks v. City of San Mateo – 9h Circuit (2000): Incident of sexual touching by co-worker whom employer immediately terminated was not sufficient to establish hostile work environment claim for sexual harassment Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 35. 35 SAME-SEX SEXUAL HARASSMENT Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services – U.S. Supreme Court (1998)  An employee claiming same-sex workplace sexual harassment must present sufficient evidence to prove that the harassment was “because of sex.” The U.S. Supreme Court has identified the following three types of circumstances which, if proven by an employee, may serve to support an inference that the alleged same-sex harasser’s conduct toward him/her was because of the employee’s sex: • (1) When proposals to engage in sexual activity are made by the harasser and there is credible evidence that the harasser is homosexual; • (2) When the victim is treated in a sex-specific manner which suggests hostility toward people of the victim's sex; or • (3) When men and women are treated differently by the harasser Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 36. 36 SAME-SEX SEXUAL HARASSMENT Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services – U.S. Supreme Court (1998)  Male member of eight-man all male oil rig crew was forcibly subjected to sex-related humiliating actions by supervisor and co-worker crew members. He was physically assaulted in a sexual manner, forcibly restrained by two crew members while another placed his genitals on the plaintiff, was forcibly restrained in the shower while a crew member forced a bar of soap into his anus, and was threatened with rape. Management was unresponsive to his complaints, and he left his employment fearing that submission to such sexual aggression, humiliation, and, potentially, rape was going to be a condition of his employment. Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 37. 37 HARASSMENT BECAUSE OF EMPLOYEE’S BEING GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, OR TRANSGENDER Discrimination Because Of Failure To Conform To Sexual-Role Stereotype Nichols v. Azteca Restaurant – 9th Circuit (2001)  Male host at employer restaurant was subjected to a relentless campaign of insults, name-calling, and vulgarities by male co-workers and supervisors because he was effeminate and did not meet their views of the male stereotype. He was habitually called sexually derogatory names (including “faggot” and “fucking female whore”), referred to with the female gender (including as “she” and “her”), and taunted for “behaving like a women” (including being mocked for walking and carrying his tray “like a woman”). The harassment occurred at least once a week and often several times a day during the plaintiff’s four-year employment. Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 38. 38 HARASSMENT BECAUSE OF EMPLOYEE’S BEING GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL, OR TRANSGENDER Discrimination Because Of A Person’s Identity As Transgender Or Transition To Transgender Status EEOC’s Ruling In Macy v. Dept. Of Justice ( April 20, 2012): From the EEOC’s standpoint, discrimination against an individual because that individual is transgender (also known as gender identity discrimination) is discrimination “because of sex” and therefore covered under and prohibited by Title VII. This decision involved sex discrimination based upon failure to hire, but the EEOC has made clear it will consider such discrimination as a basis for all sex discrimination claims under Title VII, which would include hostile work environment based upon sexual harassment. Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 39. 39 EXAMPLES OF EVIDENCE ESTABLISHING HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONMENT CLAIM BASED ON RACIAL HARASSMENT McGinest v. GTE – 9th Circuit (2004)  George McGinest was a twenty-three year African-American telecommunications company employee who worked as a lineman and in supervisory capacity  Mr. McGinest was subjected to an extensive barrage of racial harassment by his supervisors and co-workers alike, including: • forcing Mr. McGinest to work under dangerous conditions without proper equipment or sufficient crew members to complete the job • being refused access to a properly maintained vehicle while Caucasian employees were provided with such Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 40. 40 • subjecting him to obscene and demeaning racially derogatory language (including “stupid nigger” “sparrow brain” “I’ll retire before I work for a Black man” “mammy”) • Mr. McGinest’s supervisor expressing a wish to fire him • His supervisor commenting when Mr. McGinest was wearing a gold chain that “only drug dealers can afford nice gold chains” • Mr. McGinest refused overtime pay provided to Caucasian employees • In addition to everything else, Mr. McGinest was subjected to threatening racist graffiti on the walls of the men’s restroom and on switch boxes in the blockhouse and garage areas where he worked (“nigger” “digger” “white is right” ) • Mr. McGinest’s Caucasian co-worker was also subjected to harassment because of his friendship with Mr. McGinest Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 41. 41  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Ruled Mr. McGinest had sufficient evidence to establish a Title VII claim for a racially hostile workplace  Significantly, the Ninth Circuit explained with respect to racial harassment of this nature: • “Racially motivated comments or actions may appear innocent or only mildly offensive to one who is not a member of the targeted group, but in reality be intolerably abusive or threatening when understood from the perspective of a plaintiff who is a member of the targeted group.” Further, the use of certain racial slurs in of itself is highly offensive and demeaning “evoking a history of racial violence, brutality, and subordination” as well as racial hatred and bigotry. In other words, the use of certain racial slurs is usually always loaded and more than a mere offensive utterance.  Tademy v. Union Pacific – 10th Circuit (2008): The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals echoes the Ninth Circuit in ruling an African-American employee had evidence to establish a racially hostile work environment claim based upon incident in which a co-worker prominently suspended a life-sized hangman’s noose where employee would come upon it in performing his job duties Establishing A Hostile Work Environment Claim
  • 42. 42 DISCRIMINATORY HARASSMENT BY A SUPERVISOR  An employer is vicariously liable to an employee who has been subjected to a hostile work environment violating Title VII created by a supervisor  In Vance v. Ball State University (2013) United States Supreme Court has recently limited the definition of “supervisor” for purposes of vicarious liability under Title VII to someone “empowered by the employer to take tangible employment actions against the victim” of the discriminatory harassment: • “Tangible employment action” means an employment action effecting “a significant change in employment status, such as hiring, firing, failing to promote, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, or a decision causing a significant change in benefits” Employer’s Liability For Hostile Work Environment
  • 43. 43 DISCRIMINATORY HARASSMENT BY A CO-WORKER • If an alleged perpetrator of discriminatory harassment is the complaining employee’s coworker, the employer is only liable for such conduct under Title VII if the employee proves the employer knew or should have known of the harassment but did not take adequate steps to address it • In order for knowledge to be imputed to an employer, the employee must prove that management knew or should have known of the harassment • An employee is a member of management for purposes of imputing knowledge if s/he is either a “supervisor possessing substantial authority and discretion to make decisions concerning the terms of the harasser’s or harassee’s employment, such as authority to counsel, investigate, suspend, or fire the accused harasser, or to change the conditions of the harassee’s employment” or although the supervisor lacks such authority, s/he nonetheless has “ an official or strong de facto duty to act as a conduit to management for complaints about work conditions” Employer’s Liability For Hostile Work Environment
  • 44. 44  Implement strong written anti-harassment and anti-retaliation policies which are distributed to all current and new employees  Include in the policy a clearly stated grievance procedure whereby employees are given contact information for reporting discrimination and harassment, including someone to contact in the event the alleged harasser is the employee’s supervisor or the employee is otherwise uncomfortable contacting his/her supervisor regarding the harassment  Include in the policy a clear statement that anyone found to have perpetrated harassment will be subject to discipline up to and including termination of his/her employment  Ensure management-level and other supervisory personnel know to report any complaint or allegations which is characterized as, or could possibly be construed as, discriminatory harassment  Take all harassment allegations seriously, thoroughly investigate, document, take appropriate measures to prevent harassing conduct, and ensure the complaining employee knows the employer investigated and of the resulting finding Tips For Avoiding Hostile Work Environment Claims
  • 45. 45  Implement and enforce policies and measures which prohibit the type of conduct which may be perceived as discriminatory harassment or provide a basis for a hostile work environment claim (-e.g. prohibit the use of workplace e-mail to distribute material with sexual or racial content; prohibit workplace discussion or distribution of jokes, photographs, objects, or other items with offensive sexual or racial references; enforce a no “horse play” policy; enforce a “keep your cool” policy whereby employees are prohibited from engaging in verbal outbursts or physical aggression during a dispute with a co-worker or supervisor)  Ensure supervisors/employees with management functions know they must report any allegation of sexual or racial harassment or allegation of conduct which is ostensibly sexual or racial harassment even if the supervisor believes the complaining employee is lying, exaggerating, or misperceiving, etc.  Investigate each allegation of sexual or racial harassment or conduct which is ostensibly sexual or racial harassment – don’t dismiss the allegation outright based upon suspicions, doubts, or assumptions which are unsupported by an investigation Tips For Avoiding Hostile Work Environment Claims
  • 46. 46 Thank You  Sarah H. Arnett direct: 208.562.4909 email: sarnett@parsonsbehle.com