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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wait A Second!: Leering and other behavior does not create hostile work environment

Lewis v. Norwalk: The employee's gay supervisor leered at him, according to the complaint, and licked his lips, invited him to join a gym, have drinks with co-workers, and talked about personal life. According to the Wait A Second! blog, it looks like the supervisor "wanted some action with Lewis, and was inordinately interested in Lewis in general." The federal Second Circuit dismissed because the activity was too sporadic under a “totality of the circumstances” inquiry, to “create . . . an environment that a reasonable person would find hostile or abusive . . . .” Then Lewis was fired for inadequate work performance, which he claimed was retaliation for his complaint, deemed to be uncorroborated. Would the result have been different if a man behaved like this to a woman? Perhaps, but the case shows that such harassment cases are difficult to predict.

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