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From the courtroom: Sexual discrimination defined by real-life cases

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in Centerpiece,Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Here’s a new worry, courtesy of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals: Allowing—or worse yet participating in—rumors that a female employee is allegedly “sleeping with the boss” to get ahead may trigger a sex discrimination lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

The case is the first federal appeals court ruling to equate such rumor-mongering with sex discrimination.

Recent case: Evangeline worked for Reema Consulting in its Virginia warehouse. She started as a clerk, but in two years, she received six promotions. She ultimately became assistant operations manager of the facility.

About two weeks after assuming that position, she learned that some male employees were circulating “an unfounded, sexually explicit rumor” that “falsely and maliciously portrayed her as having had a sexual relationship” with a higher-ranking manager in order to obtain the management position.

Evangeline believed the rum...(register to read more)

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