Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A non-employee doctor as well as a vulgar parrot can render a hospital liable for sexual harassment

Fox Rothschild LLP
  • USA    October 19 2012
    Last year we asked whether a vulgar parrot could create a hostile work environment. This arose from a real case where a parrot who was kept by a patient in an expensive long term care facility repeatedly shouted sexual imprecations to the attending female nurse, who was none too happy about it. She complained to her supervisor about the hostile work environment but she was laughed off. She sued for sexual harassment. and won.
    We asked the question: Can the parrot be liable for sexual harassment?
    The better question, we noted, should be: Can an employer be liable for creating a hostile work environment if it permits sexual comments to be made to an offended employee, whether by a parrot, a co-worker, or a mail deliverer?

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