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Consider a Second Circuit case holding that "ten racially-hostile incidents of which [plaintiff] allegedly was aware during his 20-month tenure," of which only four occurred in his presence, were enough to create a potential harassment case. incidents that did not occur in Schwapp's presence," including one "made prior to Schwapp's employment" and "two comments made during Schwapp's employment [but outside his presence] that were hostile toward minority groups of which Schwapp is not a member. Some cases have held that even a single incident of speech -- for instance, one racial slur by a supervisor, or a "single incident of verbal abuse and negative comment concerning Japanese people" -- may be "severe or pervasive." 56 a First Circuit case, affirmed a harassment finding based on three incidents: two personal slurs (one including a threat), plus the words "White Supremacy" spray-painted in a parking lot. "The district court," the Circuit held, "erred in failing to consider the eight . 57 Other cases have granted summary judgment against harassment claims based on single incidents, or even based on several incidents, on the grounds that they weren't "severe or pervasive" enough. 4, § 208 (1997) (barring discrimination against members of national guard); City of Boston Code §§ 12-9.2, 12-9.3 (barring discrimination against past or present military members). The question is whether the government acting as sovereign may suppress such speech, on pain of huge liability, in order to protect the employee from it. [T]he fact that a plaintiff learns second-hand of a racially derogatory comment or joke by a fellow employee or supervisor also can impact the work environment . Having to work around people who hate you (even politely hate you) might well create a "hostile, abusive, or offensive work environment." But this shows that harassment law provides no safe harbor even when one is talking to coworkers who one knows won't be offended -- any bigoted statements made at work may lead to harassment liability. Web Page (nondiscrimination statement listing veteran status harassment alongside other forms of harassment); Cameron University, Complaints of Discrimination (same). Speech Among Consenting Listeners: In fact, speech can be punished as harassment even if it isn't overheard by anyone who is offended. Frequency: Finally, the "severe or pervasive" requirement does not require that the offensive speech happen daily or weekly. Curiously, the EEOC did not focus exclusively or even primarily on the slurs; it seems to have viewed the ads themselves as being as offensive -- and as illegal - - as the slurs. 1996) (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions or privileges of employment" based on, among other things, "marital status"); Seattle, Wash., Code § 14.004.0040 (1986) (same). The case was finally settled "for undisclosed monetary terms and other commitments." 34 Click here for more examples.

23 A reasonable person who believes that pinups "encourag[e] men to view [women] as sex objects" 24 might say something like the following, even about classical paintings: I personally find "art" in any form whether it be a painting, a Greek statue or a picture out of Playboy which displays genitals, buttocks, and/or nipples of the human body, to be pornographic and, in this instance, very offensive and degrading to me as a woman.

(An appellate court agreed that the speech was constitutionally unprotected, but reversed the harassment portion of the judgment on unusual state-law grounds.) 36 The NLRB has likewise suggested that it would be racial harassment for employees to use the words "Spics, Kikes, and Broads" to criticize the president of the employee union. The Sixth Circuit put it quite plainly: In essence, while [harassment law] does not require an employer to fire all "Archie Bunkers" in its employ, the law does require that an employer take prompt action to prevent such bigots from expressing their opinions in a way that abuses or offends their co-workers.

By informing people that the expression of racist or sexist attitudes in public is unacceptable, people may eventually learn that such views are undesirable in private, as well. may tend to demean women." 41 The court ultimately held that "every incident reported by [plaintiff]" -- the jokes as well as the other conduct -- "involves sexual harassment." 42 Similarly, the EEOC recently concluded that an employee's allegation that she was "sexually harassed by offensive jokes-of-the-day circulated to her and her co-workers, and by the Supervisor's praise [in a department meeting] of the co-worker circulating the jokes" was sufficient to state a claim under Title VII; 43 the jokes were neither at the offending employee's expense nor were they even generally sexist or misogynist. Department of Labor pamphlet likewise defines harassment as including cases where "[s]omeone made sexual jokes or said sexual things that you didn't like," with no requirement that the jokes be insulting or even misogynistic.

Similarly, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) characterized anti-veteran postings at Ohio State University as harassment based on Vietnam-era veteran status: OFCCP's onsite review revealed that the University had not maintained a working environment free of harassment, intimidation and coercion based upon covered veteran status for special disabled veterans and veterans of the Vietnam Era. or privileges of employment" -- a phrase that has been interpreted in the Title VII context as covering hostile environment harassment -- based on "marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, family responsibilities, matriculation, disability, or political affiliation"); Cal. 1995) (barring discrimination based on marital status); N.

For example, in one of the departments Professors displayed inflammatory pictures and postings, offensive to Vietnam era veterans on their office windows facing the corridors. 1988) (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions, .