Terms & Live Commentary During Group Presentation:

Terms & Live Commentary During Group Presentation:

Justices, before I begin argument on behalf of Ms. Faragher I would like to explain some of the terms that will be discussed in the arguments by the parties.
Gender Discrimination in Employment:
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.  Sexual Harassment, this issue our group is addressing, is one type of discrimination prohibited under Title VII.
It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex.  Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.
Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex.  For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.
Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.
Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).
The harasser can be a victim’s supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client of customer.
Tangible Employment Action:
A “tangible employment action” means a significant change in employment status.  Examples include hiring, firing, promotion, undesirable reassignment, a decision causing a significant change in benefits, compensation decisions, and work assignment.
Sexual Harassment can cause a tangible employment action if a supervisor fires or demotes a subordinate because the subordinate rejected the supervisor’s sexual demands, or promotes the subordinate because he/she submitted to the supervisor’s demands.  Whether or not a tangible employment action has occurred in important in determining to what extent an employer will be legally responsible for the harassment.
An employment action can qualify as “tangible” if it results in a significant change in his/her employment status.
Course and Scope of Employment:
Scope of Employment refers to a person actively involved in an employment task at a particular time.  In order to hold an employer liable for the wrongful acts (Sexual Harassment) of an employee, it is necessary to show that the employee was engaged in duties in the scope of employment at the time of the wrongful conduct.
The test is whether the actions of an employee further the business of the employer and are not personal business.  For example, if an employee is delivering goods to a customer and makes a detour to do a personal errand, any accident occurring while on the personal errand are not in the scope of employment and the employer is not liable.  It is also referred to as “course of employment”.
Vicarious Liability:
Vicarious liability refers to liability for the negligent or criminal acts of another person that is assigned to someone by law.  Vicarious liability exists when liability is attributed to a person who has control over or responsibility for another who negligently causes an injury or otherwise would be liable.  In our Sexual Harassment case Faragher argued that the City of Boca Raton, as the employer, should be held vicariously liable for the actions of its employees.

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