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Parker v. Reema Consulting Services, Inc.

Articles Discussing Case:

Rumors and Gossip in Workplace Can Create Employer Liability for Harassment, Fourth Circuit Holds

Jackson Lewis P.C. • February 15, 2019
Employers may be liable under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act for failing to effectively address and stop gossip and rumors of an alleged sexual relationship between a female employee and a male supervisor, the federal appeals court in Richmond has held. Parker v. Reema Consulting Servs., No. 18-1206 (4th Cir. Feb. 8, 2019).

Rumors Run Amok: Poorly Managing Rumors of an Alleged Affair Opens Title VII Liability

Nexsen Pruet • February 13, 2019
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, in Parker v. Reema Consulting Services, Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has held that a false rumor that a woman slept with her manager to obtain promotions could give rise to Title VII liability. Reema Consulting Services Inc. had won a motion to dismiss Evangeline Parker’s discrimination and retaliation claims. The district court viewed Parker’s allegations as describing harassment motivated not by her gender but by false allegations about her conduct. The court had also ruled that because the rumor was in circulation for such a short time, the treatment Parker suffered because of it was not severe or pervasive.
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