In an era when government workers are increasingly being sued for alleged sexual harassment and workplace discrimination, a federal appeals court has ruled that the government should not have to pay workers for sexual harassment they experienced while working on the job.
The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the EEOC v.
Salazar case that the “Congress may not require that government contractors provide an employee with a specific set of training in the conduct of their jobs,” and that the Supreme Court has held that a “specific set of protections” must be provided in the workplace for “sexually harassing conduct” within the scope of employment law.
The appeals court wrote that “Congress’ choice to impose a specific and comprehensive framework on the issue of sexual harassment in the government workforce is significant, and a decision to make it contingent on a particular set of specific requirements would be inconsistent with the core purpose of the [Federal Employees] Act.”
The Supreme Court’s decision was in response to a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that alleged that the Department of Labor had “repeatedly failed to protect employees who have alleged that they were sexually harassed.”
The government has said that the complaint was baseless, and that it was reviewing the case, which will be heard in April.
The case stems from the Department’s interpretation of the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex.
The statute prohibits sexual harassment, sexual harassment with respect to disability, retaliation, intimidation, and retaliation against an employee based on the employee’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, disability, age, genetic information, marital status, pregnancy, childbirth, or military status.
The Department of Justice sued Salazar and Salazar’s employer, Harken Construction in 2014, alleging that Salazar had subjected Salazar to unwelcome sexual conduct, sexual misconduct, and sexual harassment.
Harken claimed that Salazas behavior constituted harassment and that Salazi’s sexual harassment constituted retaliation.
The Supreme Justices ruled in favor of the government, saying that the federal government could not mandate the kind of training required for sexual harassers.
The court held that Salzadas alleged sexual misconduct was protected under Title VII.
Salazar argued that his employer was entitled to the protections of Title VII and that he was being discriminated against because he was an “employee who, like many others, suffers from disabilities,” a phrase that is used in Title VII to describe “people with disabilities.”
The court ruled that Title VII protects employees “who have experienced, experienced, or suffered severe forms of sexual misconduct” because “it is clear that some employees suffer from physical or psychological disabilities and, in certain circumstances, have experienced sexual misconduct.”
Salazar said in his brief that he believes that the EEO “misused the statutory definition of harassment” and that “Harkens own history of sexual misbehavior is evidence that sexual harassment occurred.”
Salzada argued that Title VI requires that “the agency must provide training for employees about the rights of women in the workforce.”
He said that his company had been given training on sexual harassment training by the Department and that Harkens training was not adequate for Salazar.
The EEOC and Harkent Construction appealed the case to the Supreme Courts, which granted Salazar a preliminary injunction to stop the case.
The Federal Labor Relations Board is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case in April, with the full court to hear arguments in July.