1. Is this a case of sexual harassment? If so, what type? What might the legal penalties be?
2. What should Betty do?
3. What case law supports what Betty would do?
Betty was one of two women who had been recently assigned to a great Plains Power & Light field crew. the utility had been aggressively recruiting women, and Betty, like her coworker PattyFredericks, had successfully completed the rigorous training program. They had been placed on their first assignment in a unit with seven men and three large vehicles.
At first, the men in the crew were prone to make remarks like "We've got to be careful, the women are taking over the world," or "Wait til we have an ice storm--then you'll wish you were back in the kitchen." this type of comment tended to disappear as the women absorbed their full share of the workload including the dangerous assignments.
But betty and patty were growing increasingly uncomfortable around the supervisor, Al Henry, who would come out in his panel truck to review progress and to bring additional supplies. for one thing, he had several calender pictures of nude women prominently displayed in the truck, he said, "maybe you and I ought to get together for a photography session --of course, I probably couldn't put your picture up here".Betty said, "Are you kidding?" and turned away. In relating the incident to Patty. Betty found out that Patty had experienced similiar remarks from Al.
"I wonder if we've got a sex harassment thing going on here," Betty said. "I don't know, but I can handle that guy," Patty responded. "I'm worried about it, I just try to avoid him," But, we shouldn't have to put up with his pictures and his comments," Betty said, "If this continues, I'm going to see the people in personnel and get some advice".
What a great real-world question. As you may know, sexual harassment encompasses unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. This conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment. Sexual harassment is usually defined as behavior by someone higher in status or power toward someone lower in status or power, although harassment by peers or customers is also recognized as a problem. Sexual harassment is not the use of occasional off-color language, telling a few dirty jokes, complimenting a member of the opposite sex on his or her appearance, a single incident of mildly inappropriate touching, or other behavior that might make some people uncomfortable or upset. The courts have generally held that everyone has to put up with a certain amount of behavior in the workplace that he or she finds unpleasant or even offensive. Sexual harassment is behavior that is so severe or so pervasive that it deprives the victim of opportunities for economic ...
Questions on legality and sexual harassment are embedded.