Friday, September 27, 2013

EEOC Sues Bank for Same-Sex Sexual Harassment - COTW #162

When you hear the phrase "sexual harassment", who do you think of as the harasser? The harassee? I think most people jump to the harasser being a man and the harassee being a woman. But, anyone who has seen Disclosure (nothing like a pop culture reference from 20 years ago!) knows that it's still sexual harassment if it's a woman harassing a man.

What if the harasser and the harassee are the same sex though? What if the harasser is a woman, allegedly sexually harassing an entire class of all women? You probably guessed it . . . it's still sexual harassment!

The EEOC issued a press release this week, announcing a new same-sex harassment lawsuit: EEOC Sues Wells Fargo for Same-Sex Sexual Harassment Female Manager Sexualized Workplace, Employee Forced to Quit to Escape, Federal Agency Charges. According to the release:
[F]our female bank tellers employed at a Reno, Nev., Wells Fargo branch regularly faced graphic sexual comments, gestures and images from a female service manager and another female bank teller. The harassment included invasive comments about their bodies and sex lives as well as inappropriate touching and grabbing. The EEOC also charges that the service manager suggested that the female bank tellers wear sexually provocative clothing in order to attract or retain customers and to advance in the workplace.
Same-sex harassment cases are starting to get more attention. Employers should not dismiss claims of sexual harassment just because the harasser and harassee are the same sex.