The “But She Didn’t See the Porn” Defense to Hostile Work Environment Claims

January 15, 2008

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently issued a decision that should alert employers to the consequences of ignoring what employees do in the confines of their offices, particularly when the employee’s conduct involves pornography. The court noted that the mere presence of pornography in an office is a relevant factor in determining whether a hostile work environment has been created. The court clarified that offensive conduct need not be aimed directly at the plaintiff in order to create a hostile work environment and reiterated its position that sexually charged conduct in the workplace may create a hostile environment for women even if it is also experienced by men.

This latest issue of Dechert OnPoint also provides an overview of the following topics:

  • Recent Developments Under the FMLA
  • NLRB Recognizes Employer Property Right in E-mail System Even During Non-Work Time
  • OFCCP Issues FAQs Concerning the Review of Contractor Compensation Practices
  • OSHA Tells Employers to Pay for Employees’ Personal Protective Equipment
  • Labor Law Developments in the UK for 2008