Workplace Sexual Harassment

Workplace Sexual Harassment

Under Washington Law Against Discrimination, what is the prima facie case for workplace sexual harassment? Here's my point of view (NOTE: please read our DISCLAIMER before proceeding).


Advertisement


WASHINGTON LAW AGAINST DISCRIMINATION

Under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), it is an unfair practice, with very few exceptions, for an employer to refuse to hire any person, to discharge or bar any person from employment, or to discriminate against any person in compensation or in other terms and conditions of employment because of age (40+); sex (including pregnancy); marital status; sexual orientation (including gender identity); race; color; creednational origin; citizenship or immigration status; honorably discharged veteran or military status; HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C status; the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability; the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability; and state employee or health care whistleblower status.

It is also an unfair practice for an employer to retaliate against an employee because the employee complained about job discrimination or assisted with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

THE PRIMA FACIE CASE: WORKPLACE SEXUAL HARASSMENT (WLAD)

"In the employment context, a plaintiff alleging workplace sexual harassment must show[:]

(1) the conduct was unwelcome,

(2) the conduct was because of sex,

(3) the conduct affected the terms or conditions of employment, and

(4) the harassment can be imputed to the employer because the employer

(i) authorized, knew of, or should have known of the harassment and

(ii) failed to take reasonably prompt and corrective action.

Floeting v. Group Health Cooperative, 192 Wn.2d 848, 854 (Wash. 2019) (citing Glasgow v. Ga.-Pac. Corp., 103 Wn.2d 401, 406-07, 693 P.2d 708 (1985) ("holding sexual harassment deprived plaintiff of a workplace free of sex discrimination")) (paragraph formatting, hyperlinks, and emphasis added).

MCDONNELL DOUGLAS BURDEN SHIFTING FRAMEWORK (WA STATE)

To learn about proving employment discrimination using circumstantial evidence, read our article: The McDonnell Douglas Burden Shifting Framework.


LEARN MORE

If you would like to learn more, then consider contacting an experienced Washington State Employment Discrimination Attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Please note: the information contained in this article is not offered as legal advice and will not form an attorney-client relationship with either this author or Williams Law Group, PS; please see our DISCLAIMER.

–gw

Popular Posts