CONGRESS ENACTED TITLE VII of the Civil Rights Act of 19641 ("Tide VII") to protect employees from discrimination in the workplace. 2 Over the past three decades, however, Title VII hostile work environment actions have expanded potential liability for employers to the point that the employers must take preventive measures or be susceptible to unexpected Title VII suits. An unprepared employer could be caught off guard in situations where, over the course of an employee's tenure, the employee endures occasional pranks, or is exposed to occasional sexual epithets, or coarse or vulgar language. While each of these situations clearly exposes the employee to an unsavory work environment, individually they may not cross the threshold of an actionable Title VII claim. However, the court might consider this conduct collectively, and thus the employer may be liable for creating or maintaining a hostile work environment in violation of Title VII, even if no individual instance would have violated the Act
Lyons, Jeffrey S.
"Be Prepared: Unsuspecting Employers Are Vulnerable for Title VII Sexual Harassment Environment Claims,"
University of San Francisco Law Review: Vol. 37
, Article 6.
Available at: http://repository.usfca.edu/usflawreview/vol37/iss2/6