Texas Lawyer published an article by Gordon & Rees Dallas office managing partner Bob Bragalone and senior counsel Margaret R. Mead in its Dec. 2 Labor & Employment Special Section.
In the article, titled “Gray Zone: Words, Actions in Sexual Harassment Rulings,” Bragalone and Mead discussed the fact-specific nature of sexual harassment claims and potential difficulties in attempting to categorize certain behaviors as harassment.
“The broad outlines of sexual harassment law were established years ago. In Faragher v. Boca Raton (1998), the U.S. Supreme Court held that sexual harassment must be sufficiently ‘severe or pervasive’ to alter the conditions of the victim's employment and create an abusive working environment,” Bragalone and Mead wrote.
“But what do courts mean by ‘severe or pervasive’? The short answer is ‘serious or frequent,’ although this belies the complexity and unpredictability of the fact-specific determination. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit's acknowledgement that the determination is not an exact science is an understatement; the nature of conduct that qualifies as severe or pervasive harassment is uncertain at best,” the authors noted.
Bragalone has 24 years of experience as a trial lawyer defending businesses – from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups – in employment and commercial litigation in state and federal court in Texas and across the country.
Mead, who is board certified in labor and employment law, handles employment litigation, employer counseling, and insurance defense. She defends clients against discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims in state and federal courts.
To read the full article, click here.