This note discusses applicable principles and law in sexual harassment cases, including Title VII, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines, agency principles, and case law that illustrate two primary approaches taken by the courts in determining the standard for employer liability. This section also discusses relevant portions of the first Supreme Court case to address sexual harassment under Title VII. Section III discusses the facts that gave rise to EIlerth's sexual harassment claims. Section IV discusses the procedural history of Ellerth's case, including the district court's decision, the decision of the Seventh Circuit panel that heard Ellerth's appeal and the en banc decision of the Seventh Circuit. Section V discusses the Supreme Court's opinion in Ellerth v. Burlington Industries in the context of sexual harassment law under Title VII. Section VI offers a critique of the Supreme Court's analysis, asserting that it is inconsistent with agency principles. Finally, Section VII concludes that a brightline standard of employer liability, based on agency principles, is necessary in Title VII sexual harassment cases.
Jennifer T. DeWitt,
Defining Employer Liability: Toward a Precise Application of Agency Principles in Title VII Sexual Harassment Cases, 29 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.