Workplace Sexual Harassment Law: Principles, Landmark Developments, and Framework for Effective Risk Management

Workplace Sexual Harassment Law: Principles, Landmark Developments, and Framework for Effective Risk Management

Workplace Sexual Harassment Law: Principles, Landmark Developments, and Framework for Effective Risk Management

Workplace Sexual Harassment Law: Principles, Landmark Developments, and Framework for Effective Risk Management

Synopsis

Workplace sexual harassment law can be a tangle for business. This book brings clarity to this confusing area of employment law and blazes a new pathway in the discussions by employing a comprehensive, yet simple and concise approach. The chapters are a self-contained discussion of issues such as retaliation and constructive discharge, merged with substantive topics like quid pro quo and hostile environment sexual harassment. Achampong devotes significant attention to landmark developments shaping the law, and provides a holistic approach to managing the risk of liability for sexual harassment. This volume is an ideal reference and text for law and business professors and students, human resource managers, risk management consultants, and attorneys.

Excerpt

The incidence of sexual harassment in the workplace is well recognized and documented. Catharine MacKinnon spearheaded the drive for sexual harassment to be recognized as a legitimate cause of action under the sex discrimination provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Before the U.S. Supreme Court recognized sexual harassment as a legitimate form of sex discrimination prohibited by federal law in 1986 in its decision in Meritor Savings Bank v Vinson, many lower courts had struggled with the problematic issues raised by sexual harassment. Many lower courts had refused to recognize sexual harassment as a legitimate cause of action in sex discrimination, arguing that courts ought not to delve into interpretations of human behavior in the workplace because the area represented a "slippery slope" that would demand "4,000 federal judges instead of 400," or that it would encourage numerous other lawsuits. The reversal of these decisions on appeal was a recognition of the fact that sexual harassment is an unlawful practice that gives rise to a legitimate cause of action in employment law.

The Senate confirmation hearings held after the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court heightened the nation's awareness of the problem of workplace sexual harassment. Although the highly partisan character of the proceedings did not allow it to become an educational experience for the nation by shedding light on what sexual harassment is and the types of conduct that constitute sexual harassment, the increased awareness it brought to the problem resulted in a well-documented astronomical increase in workplace sexual harassment lawsuits in the period immediately following the conclusion of the hearings.

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