The 'C Word,' the 'B Word,' and the 'W Word': Can Derogatory Terms Traditionally Used for Females Form the Basis of Actionable Sexual Harassment When Directed toward Males but Overheard by Females? Must They Be Directed toward Claimant?
47 Pages Posted: 29 Mar 2011
Date Written: August 4, 2010
In January 2010, an en banc 11th Circuit court held that a female employee who was surrounded by persistent and graphic sexual speech and derogatory term usage in the workplace, but not directed toward her and who lost no tangible job benefits, nonetheless provided a basis to resist a summary judgment motion. The court compared the situation to one of an African American being subjected to derogatory racial terms in the workplace. But is the comparison an apt one?
Keywords: sexual harassment, derogatory terms, gender discrimination, race discrimination, workplace discrimination, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Civil Rights Act, Title VII, sex discrimination
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