Sexual Harassment. A Guide to Prevention and Correction Fall 2009. Personal Liability. Effective January 1, 2001, employees at all levels who sexually harass a fellow employee can be sued individually.
A Guide to Prevention and Correction
Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects a person’s employment or education, unreasonably interferes with a person’s work or educational performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working or learning environment.
“You must follow the law exactly as I give it to you, even if you disagree with it.”
“Severe or pervasive” means conduct that alters the conditions of employment and creates a hostile or abusive work environment.
In determining whether the conduct was severe or pervasive, you should consider all the circumstances. You may consider any or all of the following:
Determining whether a reasonable person would consider behavior to be severe requires “careful consideration of the social context in which the particular behavior occurs and is experienced by its target.”
“The real social impact of workplace behavior often depends on a constellation of surrounding circumstance, expectations, and relationships which are not fully captured by a simple recitation of the words used or the physical acts performed.”
Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services
Does it matter?
Department of Health Services v. Superior Court
You have heard testimony about UCLA’s Sexual Harassment Policies and Procedures. As you know, you must follow the California law as I instruct you. A departure by UCLA from its Sexual Harassment Policies and Procedures does not necessarily meant that UCLA violated California law. If you find that UCLA departed from its Sexual Harassment Policies and Procedures, that is a factor you may consider in deciding whether there was a violation of the law.
Can I date a fellow Bruin?
The Supreme Court has given employers a defense in some hostile environment cases. To take advantage of the defense an employer must show that it “exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct promptly any sexually harassing behavior.”
Faragher v. City of Boca Raton