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Unformatted text preview: harassment claim its
policy on sexual harassment, which it says Natson did not follow. It *948 cites Faragher
v. City of Boca Raton, 524 U.S. 775, 118 S.Ct. 2275, 141 L.Ed.2d 662 (1998), in which
the Supreme Court said:
An employer is subject to vicarious liability to a victimized employee for an actionable
hostile environment created by a supervisor with immediate (or successively higher)
authority over the employee. When no tangible employment action is taken, a defending
employer may raise an affirmative defense to liability or damages, subject to proof by a
preponderance of the evidence, see Fed. Rule Civ. Proc. 8(c). The defense comprises two
necessary elements: (a) that the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and
correct promptly any sexually harassing behavior, and (b) that the plaintiff employee
unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities
provided by the employer or to avoid harm otherwise ... No affirmative defense is
available, however, when the supervisor's harassment culminates in a tangible
employment action, such as discharge, demotion, or undesirable reassignment.
Faragher, 524 U.S. at 807-08, 118 S.Ct. 2275 (citations omitted). The trial court ruled as
a matter of law that Natson did not suffer a tangible employment action as her
termination was not the result of the sexual harassment, so the affirmative defense is
available to Eckerd. The court directed a verdict in Eckerd's favor on the affirmative
defense because (1) Eckerd exercised reasonable care to prevent sexual harassment by
promulgating a reasonable policy, and (2) Natson unreasonably failed to take advantage
of the preventative or corrective opportunities provided in the policy. The trial court
found that Natson did not report to the appropriate designated person.
Eckerd claims that its "official" sexual harassment policy is contained in its Policies and
Procedures Manual. In its manual, an employee is required to report sexual harassment to
his or her super...
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This note was uploaded on 09/30/2012 for the course ENC 102 taught by Professor Deria during the Spring '08 term at FIU.
- Spring '08