Lately a slew of major newspaper and television news stories have highlighted woman on woman bullying. Almost all of them quote advocates who say that “status blind” harassment is legal. But, that’s not always true. If a woman can prove that, as surveys show, she’s being singled out by a female boss because the bully feels more comfortable harassing women than men then she may well have a claim under Sexual Harassment. Why is it so important for advocates to keep the message as pure as possible? While dramatic messages sell papers, books, and can propel the agenda of a cause it can also unfairly limit the needed information that traumatized victims/targets receive. ALWAYS speak with an attorney to understand the options that may or may not be open to you.
“‘The critical issue, Title VII’s text indicates, is whether members of one sex are exposed to disadvantageous terms or conditions of employment to which members of the other sex are not exposed.’” Id. (quoting Harris v. Forklift Sys., 510 U.S. 17, 25, 114 S. Ct. 367, 126 L. Ed. 2d 295 (1993) (Ginsburg, J., concurring)). The Court went on to explain:
[I]n most male-female sexual harassment situations, . . . the challenged conduct typically involves explicit or implicit proposals of sexual activity; it is reasonable to assume those proposals would not have been made to someone of the same sex. . . . But harassing conduct need not be mot ivated by sexual desire to support an inference of discrimination on the basis of sex. . . . [It] might reasonably [be found], for example, if a female victim is harassed in such sex-specific and derogatory terms by another woman as to make it clear that the harasser is motivated by general hostility to the presence of women in the workplace. A same-sex harassment plaintiff may also, of course, offer direct comparative evidence about how the alleged harasser treated members of both sexes in a mixedsex workplace.