Staring can be sexual harassment

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Assembly-line worker Michelle Birschtein complained to her foreman when a forklift driver made sexual remarks to her. The driver never spoke to her again, but he did stare at her, five to 10 times a day for up to 10 minutes at a time. The company never disciplined the driver. A lower court threw out Birschtein's sexual harassment case, but a California appeals court said repeated staring can add up to sexual harassment. (Birschtein v. New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., No. A090680, Calif. Ct. App., 2001)

Advice: Don't discount a complaint that isn't based on sexual advances. A worker needs to show only that gender is a substantial factor and members of the other sex would not have been treated the same.

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