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Can you sue for harassment if no one actually harasses you? 5th Circuit opens the door a crack

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Here’s a new worry for employers: More and more employees who aren’t being directly targeted for har­­­­­­­ass­­ment are suing anyway. They claim that the fact that others may be experiencing sexual, racial or other forms of harassment means that they, in ­effect, are also victims.

Some of those claims actually succeed. And even the ones that fail can raise the threat of further litigation.

Recent case: Rubin Hernandez and several other employees who worked at Yellow Transportation’s Dallas terminal sued over an alleg­edly hostile work environment. They also claimed they were retali­ated against after they picketed in protest of working conditions. Two of Hernandez’s co-workers are Hispanic; one is white.

The two Hispanic employees argued that they had observed or heard about workplace harassment aimed at black employees. They said it created a hostile environment for Hispanic employees, too. In other words, their lawyers arg...(register to read more)

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