When is an employer liable for harassment under Title VII?

As long as the discrimination did not culminate in some adverse employment action (termination, demotion, etc.), an employer isn’t automatically liable for harassment of its employees by coworkers.  Generally, an employer may avoid liability for harassment if it maintains policies against harassment, provides a mechanism for employees to report violations of such policies, and takes prompt corrective action once it learns of such violations.  Again, the employer escapes liability only if it has clearly established anti-harassment and reporting policies.  In such a scenario, employees who suffer from harassment but do not follow their employer’s policy on reporting it generally will not be successful in a harassment lawsuit.  The gist is that before employers with the appropriate policies will be held liable for harassment, they must be notified and have an opportunity to remedy it.   The Supreme Court established this defense in two cases you may review by clicking,  Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775, 118 S.Ct. 2275, 141 L.Ed.2d 662 (1998); Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellereth,  524 U.S. 742, 118 S.Ct. 2257, 141 L.Ed.2d 633 (1998).

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The information herein is not legal advice. The information is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter discussed.  The above is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.