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The Objectives of Sexual Harassment Law, with Application to 1998's Ellerth, Oncale, and Faragher Decisions

Listed author(s):
  • Eric Rasmusen

    (Indiana University, Kelley School of Business)

Imposing liability on a company for sexual harassment by supervisors cannot be justified as promoting equality between the sexes, protection of workers, or protection of the owners of the company. Such liability might be justified to prevent breach of contract or behavior offensive to the general public-- a "civility code". The recent Supreme Court ruling in Oncale that same-sex harassment is illegal can be justified on these grounds. The ruling in Ellerth and Faragher concerning employer liability for sexual harassment by supervisors contrary to the employer's interest is less satisfactory because the Court's rule will encourage litigation and defensive bureaucratic complexity.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Labor and Demography with number 9907002.

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Date of creation: 13 Jul 1999
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpla:9907002
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