HCBE Faculty Articles

Title

A Kiss is but a Kiss”: Cultural Mores, Ethical Relativism, and Sexual Harassment Liability

Document Type

Article

Date

1-1-2015

Publication Title

Open Law and Ethics

ISSN or ISBN

2352-6327

Volume

1

First Page

38

Last Page

50

Description

Sexual harassment legal liability has been one of the momentous legal outcomes of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This seminal civil rights law in Title VII governing employment expressly prohibits discrimination based on sex (that is, gender). Two areas the courts have defined as sexual harassment have been quid pro quo (meaning “this for that”) and hostile working environment. Quid pro quo claims take the form of “broken promises”, “favors”, or “threats” promised by male superiors to female subordinates in exchange for sexual favors or relationships. Hostile environment means any hostile, offensive, or intimidating action or environmental factor that would lead to the inability of the employee to work in a non-threatening atmosphere. This article examines the second type of sexual harassment cases – hostile environment. This article specifically focuses on certain physical aspects of perceived sexual harassment conduct, such as kissing, hugging, and touching, which in some cultures can be deemed as culturally and ethically appropriate but nonetheless can be perceived as hostile, offensive, abusive, intimidating, and threatening under the law. The authors present examples of socially acceptable behaviors around the world, analyze the legal ramifications, ethical implications, and cultural nuances, and then provide appropriate recommendations for business managers.

DOI

10.2174/2352633501501010038

This document is currently not available here.

Find in your library

Share

COinS