Under federal law, workers who want to prove that someone of the same gender harassed them sexually have to show that the harassment was “because of sex.” In other words, they have to show the harasser’s motivation.
That makes same-sex harassment claims tough to prove under Title VII. It’s especially hard if the harassment seems more for the purpose of annoying the harassed worker.
But that’s not how the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) handles same sex harassment, as an employer recently found out.
Recent case: Alejandro, a heterosexual man, worked for Southern California Edison loading and delivering equipment to the field. He transferred to a different field office to have a shorter commute and then began working with a new crew of linemen. Before long, several linemen, including the supervisor, were calling Alejandro names like “you f_____g faggot.”
It wasn’t long before the comments progressed to touchi...(register to read more)