Learning Goal: I’m working on a business writing question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.
Pick one post to respond toAssume you are a lawyer and SS comes to you seeking legal advice. They give you the post you read as the case against them. What is your legal advice to SS? What legal considerations help SS in the case against Arnez, and what legal considerations do not not help SS?
Note: The answer to Question #2 is a separate post and should be at least 250 words.
Social Spotlight (SS), a social media consultant company hires Arnez to enhance the social media presence of their clients. One day when Arnez is working late in the office, he meets Kim, the office manager who is also his immediate supervisor. Kim, who uses the pronouns “she/her”, finds Arnez, who uses the pronouns “he/him”, extremely attractive and starts sending Arnez sexually suggestive emails constantly. Kim also tries to kiss and touch Arnez in a sexual way telling Arnez that if he agrees to give her sexual favors that she will help him get promoted. Knowing that this is against SS company policies and procedures which had been distributed to all employees, Arnez accepts Kim’s proposition and engages in sexual relations with Kim. Several months later, Arnez is promoted to a position that makes him Kim’s superior. Arnez decides he wants to end the sexual relationship with Kim which she opposes and tells Arnez that if he ends it, she will make sure he is fired. Arnez still ends the sexual relationship with Kim. Kim then tells a manager in Human Resources about the sexual relationship with Arnez and SS fires Arnez. Arnez then brings a lawsuit against SS.
Other students post *Reply to this*
Assuming that I am the lawyer of Arnez and observing that this situation of Arnez (the employee) succumbs to Kim (the superior)’s proposition of engaging in sexual demands with Kim, for the sake of moving up the corporate ladder, I would use the legal argument that it is a form of employment discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
This is because it falls under the category of sexual harassment as it results in a hostile work environment amounting to job discrimination. It also involves quid pro quo harassment. This is when an employee’s rejection or submission of a superior’s sexual demands directly affects their employment decisions, either positively or negatively. As we can see in this case, as long as Arnez was granting Kim’s sexual demands, he was allowed to keep his job and even be promoted as Kim’s superior. However, as soon as Arnez decided he wanted to end the sexual relations with Kim, she reported him to Human Resources and the company fired him immediately, resulting in him losing his job.
In two significant Supreme Court cases, Faragher v. City of Boca Raton and Burlington Industries v. Ellerth, the Supreme Court clarified the standard by which employers are held liable for sexual harassment committed by their employees.
For example, Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth was a landmark employment law case in which the United States Supreme Court held that employers are liable if supervisors create a hostile work environment for their employees. In fact, Kimberly Ellerth, a female employee at Burlington Industries, sued the company for sexual harassment due to her male supervisor. She reported that her supervisor made offensive remarks and unwanted proposals. She identified three episodes involving threats to deny tangible job benefits unless the demanded sexual favors were granted.
Another law case is Faragher v. City of Boca Raton, in which the United States Supreme Court again identified the circumstances under which an employer may be held liable if supervisors create a hostile work environment for their employees. This case centered around a lifeguard, Ann Faragher, resigning from her position after bringing to the city of Boca Raton’s attention that her supervisors, Bill Terry & David Silverman, had created a sexually hostile environment at work for her and other female employees due to the inappropriate touching, offensive language/slurs, and sexual remarks that were used on a consistent basis and led to Faragher’s constructive discharge or involuntary resignation of her job.
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