In two Supreme Court cases, the court established employers are
subject to liability for unlawful harassment by supervisors
resulting in a tangible employment action, such as a firing, a
demotion or assigning undesirable work. Since then, thousands of
unlawful harassment suits have been filed against employers.
The lawsuits established if harassment by a supervisor results
in a tangible employment action, you cannot present any defenses.
However, if harassment by a supervisor does not result in a
tangible employment action, you can present a defense.
A defense to such a claim consists of two necessary elements:
you exercising reasonable care to prevent or promptly correct any
harassment and the harassed employee unreasonably failing to avoid
harm and take advantage of any preventive or corrective
opportunities you have provided.
You probably are aware you must establish, publicize and enforce
anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies and complaint
procedures to have any hope of meeting the first element of the
defense. But though you may be aware of the need to have such
policies, effective implementation is...
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