Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Hybrid category of gender discrimination and harassment created by the 9th Circuit

From Law.com:

You don't have to be a groper, lecher or explicit misogynist to get sued for sex-based harassment, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday.

The opinion, in a case originating at an Alaska teachers union, said that Thomas Harvey, a manager accused of "shouting, 'screaming,' foul language, invading employees' personal space ... and [making] threatening gestures" may be sued for gender-based discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, even though his acts were not overtly motivated by the victims' gender.

"We hold that offensive conduct that is not facially sex-specific nonetheless may violate Title VII if there is sufficient circumstantial evidence of qualitative and quantitative differences in the harassment suffered by female and male employees," wrote Senior Judge Alfred Goodwin in a unanimous decision.

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