Beware the high price of foul language: Expensive trials before unsympathetic judges

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

It doesn’t happen often, but now the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a rare unanimous en banc opinion. The judges, without a single dissent, ruled that a woman who quit her job because she couldn’t stand alleged daily sexual harassment can take her case to trial.

The decision includes some important guidelines for what will be considered sexual harassment and what is simply crude and generally offensive behavior—behavior that can’t be the basis for a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Recent case: In 2001, Ingrid Reeves went to work for C.H. Robinson, a shipping company. Reeves was no stranger to the shipping business, having worked on a container ship and in the Merchant Marine. In other words, she was used to being the only woman around a group of boisterous men who may not have the most polished speech.

At C.H. Robinson, Reeves worked as a sales representative. The sales floor was set up in an open area, with a pod o...(register to read more)

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