Courts lose patience with hypersensitive employees

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Courts are getting quicker with the gavel when it looks like a lawsuit might have been filed by an overly sensitive employee who perceives vague comments as harassment.

Recent case: Eddie sued his employer over alleged homosexual harassment. His only claim: that an allegedly gay foreman had stood in “uncomfortable proximity” to him and had once said “You’re lucky I like you … because you’re so big.”

The court dismissed the case, since there was no evidence of a sexually hostile environment. (Pitt­­man v. James Austin Co., No. 12-3730, 3rd Cir., 2013)

Final note: As people in general become more open about their sexuality, some who are not so comfortable may become more hypersensitive to perceived sexual advances. Make sure employees understand that, while you won’t tolerate harassment, you expect them to tolerate co-workers’ differences.

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