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2000

Southern Methodist University

Inc. v. Ellerth

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The First Bite Is Free: Employer Liability For Sexual Harassment, Joanna L. Grossman Jan 2000

The First Bite Is Free: Employer Liability For Sexual Harassment, Joanna L. Grossman

Faculty Scholarship

In June, 1998, the Supreme Court issued two decisions, Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth and Faragher v. City of Boca Raton that established new standards for employer liability for sexual harassment. Although the two cases presented different questions and factual predicates, the Court adopted a unified holding with respect to employer liability for supervisor harassment. Many commentators interpreted the new standards as a blow to employers based on the perception that employers would now be held accountable for workplace harassment without regard to their culpability.

The thesis of this article is that the conventional wisdom with respect to Faragher and ...