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A state court has in fact found that it was religious harassment for an employer to put religious articles in its employee newsletter and Christian-themed verses on its paychecks. or privileges of employment" -- including harassing speech -- based on "political affiliation"); Lansing, Mich. 296.03(2) (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions, .

26 The EEOC likewise found that a claim that an employer "permitted the daily broadcast of prayers over the public address system" over the span of a year was "sufficient to allege the existence of a hostile working environment predicated on religious discrimination." 27 A recent article by two employment lawyers gives "repeated, unwanted `preaching´ episodes [by a fundamentalist Christian employee] that offend coworkers and adversely affect their working conditions" as a "bright-line example[]" of actionable harassment; an employer in such a situation would be "well advised to take swift remedial action." 28 If polite religious proselytizing can be harassment, then of course harsher criticism of religion would be, too. 1988) (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions, .

The question is whether the government acting as sovereign may suppress such speech, on pain of huge liability, in order to protect the employee from it. [T]he fact that a plaintiff learns second-hand of a racially derogatory comment or joke by a fellow employee or supervisor also can impact the work environment . Having to work around people who hate you (even politely hate you) might well create a "hostile, abusive, or offensive work environment." But this shows that harassment law provides no safe harbor even when one is talking to coworkers who one knows won't be offended -- any bigoted statements made at work may lead to harassment liability. Web Page (nondiscrimination statement listing veteran status harassment alongside other forms of harassment); Cameron University, Complaints of Discrimination (same).

Speech Among Consenting Listeners: In fact, speech can be punished as harassment even if it isn't overheard by anyone who is offended. Frequency: Finally, the "severe or pervasive" requirement does not require that the offensive speech happen daily or weekly.

Even if I wanted to personally take time to appreciate this kind of "art," I reserve the right for that to be my choice and to not have it thrust in my face on my way into a meeting with my superiors, most of whom are men. or privileges of employment" based on, among other things, "political ideology"); Madison, Wisc., Municipal Code §§ 3.23(8)(a); Broward County Code § 161/2-3(15), 161/2-21(1).

25 And if some complainants make these claims, some fact-finders may well agree: Religious Speech: If some complainants make these claims, some fact-finders may well agree. or privileges of employment" based on, among other things, "political orientation"); Seattle, Wash., Code § 14.004.0040 (1986) (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions, .

In the EEOC's words, "disparag[ing] the religion or beliefs of others" in the workplace may be illegal; "a Christian employee would have recourse under Title VII if a `secular humanist´ employer" -- or presumably secular humanist coworkers -- "engaged in a pattern of ridiculing the employee's religious beliefs.´" 29 A state administrative agency has found that an employee was religiously harassed by a Seventh Day Adventist coworker who often talked about religion to everyone.

And if the outcomes in the above cases were, as one critic suggests, "bizarre judicial misapplications," "exception[s] to the rule" that should be ignored in determining the rule's true scope, it could only be because the speech in those cases didn't meet the severity or pervasiveness thresholds. 58 I don't suggest that single incidents or even biweekly or bimonthly incidents will lead to the case going to the jury. Under the logic of harassment law, such bans on discrimination also ban hostile environment harassment. 775 §§ 5/1-103(Q), 5/2-102 (barring discrimination in "terms, privileges, or conditions of employment" based on "military status"); 51 Penn. But as one might expect, "severity or pervasiveness" is generally in the eye of the beholding judge and jury. text accompanying note 18 (describing veteran status harassment case); Ill. Consider a Second Circuit case holding that "ten racially-hostile incidents of which [plaintiff] allegedly was aware during his 20-month tenure," of which only four occurred in his presence, were enough to create a potential harassment case. incidents that did not occur in Schwapp's presence," including one "made prior to Schwapp's employment" and "two comments made during Schwapp's employment [but outside his presence] that were hostile toward minority groups of which Schwapp is not a member. Some cases have held that even a single incident of speech -- for instance, one racial slur by a supervisor, or a "single incident of verbal abuse and negative comment concerning Japanese people" -- may be "severe or pervasive." 56 a First Circuit case, affirmed a harassment finding based on three incidents: two personal slurs (one including a threat), plus the words "White Supremacy" spray-painted in a parking lot. "The district court," the Circuit held, "erred in failing to consider the eight . 57 Other cases have granted summary judgment against harassment claims based on single incidents, or even based on several incidents, on the grounds that they weren't "severe or pervasive" enough. 4, § 208 (1997) (barring discrimination against members of national guard); City of Boston Code §§ 12-9.2, 12-9.3 (barring discrimination against past or present military members). 21 Many reasonable people might view strident denunciations of Catholicism, whether political or religious, as creating a hostile environment for devout Catholics, 22 or criticisms of feminism as creating a hostile environment for women. 23 A reasonable person who believes that pinups "encourag[e] men to view [women] as sex objects" 24 might say something like the following, even about classical paintings: I personally find "art" in any form whether it be a painting, a Greek statue or a picture out of Playboy which displays genitals, buttocks, and/or nipples of the human body, to be pornographic and, in this instance, very offensive and degrading to me as a woman. The Effect of Cases That Rely Even in Part on Speech F. 1996) (same as to "alienage or citizenship status"); New York City Comm'n on Human Rights document (asserting that New York City human rights law bars harassment based on, among other things, "alienage or citizenship status"); D. 20 This would be even more true of bigoted or insensitive remarks about minority or female political candidates. §§ 111.31, 111.32 (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions, . Curiously, the EEOC did not focus exclusively or even primarily on the slurs; it seems to have viewed the ads themselves as being as offensive -- and as illegal - - as the slurs. 1996) (barring discrimination in "terms, conditions or privileges of employment" based on, among other things, "marital status"); Seattle, Wash., Code § 14.004.0040 (1986) (same). The case was finally settled "for undisclosed monetary terms and other commitments." 34 Click here for more examples.

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  1. Harassment. Harassment is a form of employment discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, ADEA, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, ADA.

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