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IT’S NOT JUST SEXUAL FAVORS


Posted by Bray, Kathleen at Monday, 11/19/2012 9:16 am
 
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In a recent Minnesota Supreme Court case, the Court addressed the issue of whether or not there could be a hostile work environment based on sex, even if the offending conduct is not sexual? The Court answered in the affirmative and noted that, although disparate treatment of female employees is obvious when promotion or retention is conditioned on sexual favors, disparate treatment is as invidious, although less recognizable, when sexual harassment is directed at an employee because she is female. In the case in question, however, the totality of the circumstances involving school custodians led the Court to conclude (with a strong dissent by Justice Alan Page) that the statements and actions of the supervisor were not severe or intimidating and did not appear to have unreasonably interfered with the employee’s ability to do her job. LaMont v. Independent School District No. 728 (8th Cir. 2012).


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