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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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In a statement can telling a woman that she uses her feminity

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In a statement can telling a woman that she uses her feminity to get her way be construed as sexual harassment

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question.

First, you should understand that there are actually two different kinds of sexual harassment--"quid pro quo" harassment and "hostile work environment harassment.

Put simply, quid pro quo harassment involves propositions of sexual favors for favorable treatment at work (e.g., "If you sleep with me you get the promotion.") Hostile work environment harassment, on the other hand, involves harassing or offensive conduct that is sexual in nature.

If anything, the statement you have described implicates sexual harassment premised on a hostile work environment theory. Almost certainly however, this statement would be insufficient to establish such a claim, at least in isolation.

The reason is that, contrary to quid pro quo harassment where a single "proposition" is sufficient to base a claim, hostile work environment claims generally require a PATTERN of offensive conduct or at the very least, an extremely severe incident of harassment in order to give rise to a claim. Title VII.” Rogers v. EEOC, 454 F.2d 234, 4 EPD ¶ 7597 (5th Cir. 1971) (finding that a “mere utterance of an ethnic or racial epithet which engenders offensive feelings in an employee would not affect the conditions of employment to a sufficiently significant degree to violate the law.")

Even is such statement was sufficient to establish a claim on its own, which would be extraordinarily improbable, the damages that stemming therefrom would be nominal, as it is hard to imagine how such statement could result in substantial emotional distress, which is what the victim would need to prove to collect damages on the claim.

So to answer your question concisely, the statement you describe would almost certainly be insufficient to establish a claim for sexual harassment premised on a theory of hostile work environment, assuming that other similar or more serious statements were not also made. The courts have made very clear that patterns of harassing behavior or extreme instances of harassment are required to substantiate a claim.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.

If you do not have any further concerns, I would be very grateful if you would give my answer a positive rating and click submit, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you. If you have any additional concerns that you would like me to address, please feel free to let me know by hitting the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button and I will be more than happy to continue assisting you.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Thank you and very kindest regards.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

driving work trk thru coworker in my path pointing a finger with thumb extended I took it as a threat and confronted her she said she was going to turn me in to union for snitching on her for not wearing her uniform I told her I did no such thing and that I didn't give a rats ass what she I turned back to get in my truck and she blurted out calling me a racist I responded that I was not I than stated what I wrote asking the question I than got back in truck to finish my days I in no way verbally or physically threaten her in anyway

Thank you very much for your followup. To confirm, what you describe would most likely not constitute sexual harassment, much less a claim that would actually be worth pursuing, as any damages stemming therefrom would be completely nominal (next to nothing).

Again, I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

Kindest regards.

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