Supreme Court Harassment Cases
The Associated Press
Jun. 22, 1998
The Supreme Court is expected to announce decisions in two other two sexual-harassment cases before ending its 1997-98 term later this week or next. Both of those cases involve employer liability for on-the-job harassment.
In one, the court is being asked to decide when employers are legally responsible _ and financially liable _ for a supervisor's harassment they did not know about.
Lawyers for a former Boca Raton, Fla., ocean lifeguard are urging the court to adopt a standard that would make employers liable most times a supervisor has created a ``hostile work environment'' based on an employee's gender.
Lawyers for the city contend it cannot be held responsible because the lifeguard never sought help from someone higher up in the supervisory chain.
In the second case, one from Chicago, the court must decide whether employers can be forced to pay monetary damages to employers whose supervisors threaten them _ such as ``Sleep with me or else'' _ if the employees do not succumb and the threats prove to be empty.