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Total Articles: 3

#MeToo: Third Circuit Chisels Away At Employers’ Faragher-Ellerth Defense

With the rise of the #MeToo movement, employers everywhere are smartly taking the time to learn their duties and responsibilities when it comes to preventing sexual harassment. A valuable affirmative defense available to employers facing allegations of sexual harassment is the Faragher-Ellerth defense, named after Supreme Court cases Faragher v. Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775 (1998), and Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth, 524 U.S. 742 (1998). While this defense can be helpful, its scope is being narrowed in the courts. This may be a sign of the times.

Worker's Failure to Report New Incidents of Harassment Proves Costly

A federal appellate court has ruled that an employer should not be held liable for fostering a racially hostile work environment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. According to the court, the company promptly disciplined the workers for their initial misconduct and the employee did not adequately report the alleged resumption of the harassment. The worker's failure to put the company on notice of the renewed harassment, the court found, was "fatal to his claim of employer liability." Wilson v. Moulison North Corp., No. 10-1387, First Circuit Court of Appeals (March 21, 2011).

Worker's Lack Of Response Dooms Harassment Suit

A federal appellate court recently dismissed a lawsuit brought by an employee who claimed that her employer subjected her to a hostile work environment. While the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct the alleged harassment, the court held, the employee failed to take advantage of the corrective opportunities offered by the employer. Brenneman v. Famous Dave's of America, Inc., No. 06-1851, Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (November 16, 2007).