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Essay on Sexual Harassment

Decent Essays
Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment can take many forms; including a request for sexual favors; unwelcome sexual advances towards others, verbal, physical, or foreseeable conduct of a sexual nature towards people. This illegal conduct could occur in houses, or public places, hotels, restaurants, and can most often occur in the workplace. Employers, especially in the service industries, should pay careful attention to complaints by employees about customer conduct. An employer can be held liable under Title VII, for customer harassment if it fails to remedy or prevent a customer-created hostile work environment. Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to the following:
 The
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You were hired to waitress. You waitress." When Lockard returned to wait on the customers, one of the customers grabbed her by the hair and put his mouth on her breast. Lockard immediately informed her manager of the incident and quit.
At trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Lockard against both Pizza Hut and the franchisee. Pizza Hut filed post-trial motions claiming Lockard could not hold Pizza Hut liable for customer-created hostile work environment. The trial court agreed.
The Tenth Circuit reversed the trial court and ruled that employers could be vicariously liable under Title VII for acts of harassment by customers. The court reasoned that the proper focus of a hostile work environment inquiry is whether the workplace is permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule and insult. Thus, the court reasoned an employer who condones or tolerates the creation of such an environment should be held liable, regardless of whether a supervisor, co-employee, or a non-employee creates the environment.
Accordingly, the court held that an employer may be liable for customer harassment if it fails to remedy or prevent a customer-created hostile work environment, of which it knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known. An employer who condones or tolerates the creation of such an environment can be held liable, regardless of whether a supervisor, co-employee, or a non-employee creates the environment. An employer may be
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