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Now Americans can sue if their boss is sleeping with someone else

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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:18 AM
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Now Americans can sue if their boss is sleeping with someone else
Now Americans can sue if their boss is sleeping with someone else
By Andrew Gumbel in Los Angeles
Published: 20 July 2005

Sleeping with the boss may be a time-honoured route to career advancement, but the California Supreme Court has now ruled that the practice constitutes sexual harassment - not only of the employee who submits to a supervisor's advances, but also of the employees who do not, and fail to get ahead as a result.

The ruling, on a case arising from the California prison system, greatly expands the definition of sexual harassment because it can now apply to people who have no sexual interaction whatsoever. Other American courts, at both state and federal level, have considered this broad definition in the past but have never before accepted it. Ronald George, California's chief justice, wrote in the court's unanimous ruling that what was at stake was not so much sex as the creation of a workplace atmosphere demeaning to women "because a message is conveyed that managers view women as 'sexual playthings'."

The case in question was an eye-popping one. The warden of a women's correctional facility in California's Central Valley was accused by two subordinates of having simultaneous extramarital affairs with three female employees and giving them preferential job treatment. Not only did the plaintiffs, both women, say they were consistently overlooked for promotion; they also suffered retaliation when they complained.

An internal investigation a few years ago found the warden's behaviour "was broadly known and resented in the workplace". The warden, Lewis Kuykendall, retired shortly after the investigation. One of his alleged lovers, who resigned rather than face disciplinary charges, was cited in the court ruling as bragging about her affair with the boss and saying he would have to promote her if he didn't want her to "take him down" by naming "every scar on his body".

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article300...
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Gidney N Cloyd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:21 AM
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1. Wow. They gotcha coming and going...
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:22 AM
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2. This has always been the case--the CSC just upheld it...
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havocmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:22 AM
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3. havocmom predicts that suggestion boxes in work places across America
will vanish in short order, as copies of this news gets dropped into a lot of them :evilgrin:
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mcscajun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 09:23 AM
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4. There are more than just two people involved in sexual harassment
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 09:24 AM by mcscajun
...there are the people who know about it because the harasser must brag about it to his buddies, there are the people who know about it because the victim may confide in a friend, and there are the people who know about it because they keep their eyes open in the office.

There was a suburban office complex I worked in twenty years ago where the 'affairs' between bosses and subordinates were open and common knowledge; all the participants thought they were so subtle, secretive and discreet. And these were just consensual affairs, at least so far as anyone knew.

Still, it created an atmosphere where if you weren't young and attractive, you didn't quite have the same chance to get the boss' ear (or notice.)

Sexual harassment creates the same atmosphere, only more hostile, and less open to challenge by the 'non-victim'. Nice to see something changing.
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Rainbowreflect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 10:09 AM
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5. Exactly! Plus there are companies/bosses where it is
understood that to move ahead you should... well you know!
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