THE MAGAZINE

Sexual Harassment

In the first case of its kind, the California Supreme Court has ruled that widespread sexual favoritism in the workplace can create a hostile workplace environment. While an isolated case of favoritism would not be grounds for a harassment charge, ruled the court, employees may sue if the message conveyed in the workplace is that women are sexual playthings or that they must engage in sexual conduct with supervisors to get ahead. In the case, a prison warden was conducting four simultaneous affairs and used his authority to get the women special treatment such as promotions and perks. (Miller v. Department of Corrections, Supreme Court of California, No. S114097, 2005)

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