Good Ol' Boys: Severe and Pervasive Conduct of Sexual Harassment in Criminal Justice Agencies

Michael S. Vaughn, Georgia State University
Sue Carter Collins, Georgia State University

Sexual harassment in criminal justice agencies is a persistent problem that stems from the male-dominated realities of the workplace. In 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court in Harris v. Forklift Systems articulated a non-exclusive list of factors to determine if a workplace is so permeated with sexual harassswment to raise a Title VII claim. These included: (1) the frequency of the discriminatory conduct; (2) its severity; (3) whether the conduct was physically threatening or humiliating, or a mere offensive utterance; (4) whether the conduct unreasonably interfered with plaintiff's work; and (5) what psychological harm, if any, resulted. This paper will explore lower court opinions in the U.S. District Courts and the U.S. Court of Appeals, focusing on case law dealing with these issues within criminal justice agencies.

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Updated 05/20/2006