In Dicta

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

California expands sexual harassment law

"Workers who lose promotions to colleagues who are sleeping with the boss can sue their employers for sexual harassment, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday.

In a significant expansion of sexual harassment law in California, the state high court unanimously decided that any worker, male or female, could suffer sexual harassment even if his or her boss never asked for sexual favors or made inappropriate advances.

Previously, only the worker who had the affair or received unwanted sexual attention could prevail in California.

"Widespread favoritism based upon consensual sexual affairs may imbue the workplace with an atmosphere that is demeaning to women because a message is conveyed that managers view women as 'sexual playthings,' " Chief Justice Ronald M. George wrote for the court.

In such a situation, other employees may believe "that the way required to secure advancement is to engage in sexual conduct with managers," he added."

Interesting decision. I'll have to get the actual decision and read it before commenting further.

Via Yahoo! News.

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