Summary of 1998 Harassment Cases III
Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc. (U.S. Supreme Court).
This case involved a same-sex harassment claim. The Supreme Court held that in same sex cases, it is important to look at the context in which the allegedly harassing behavior occurred. The court reaffirmed that an actionable hostile environment would exist only when the conduct is severe and pervasive.
Implications for Employers:
Oncale makes it clear, once and for all, that same-sex harassment will not be tolerated and that employers may be held liable for such behavior by their supervisors.
Source: Jackson, Lewis, Schnitzler & Krupman, White Plains, NY, December 14, 1998.