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Legal remedies in sexual harassment litigation Evidence from the IWPR/WAGE Consent Decree Project Ariane Hegewisch.

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Presentation on theme: "Legal remedies in sexual harassment litigation Evidence from the IWPR/WAGE Consent Decree Project Ariane Hegewisch."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legal remedies in sexual harassment litigation Evidence from the IWPR/WAGE Consent Decree Project Ariane Hegewisch

2 Sexual Harassment Cases in the IWPR/WAGE Database The EEOC received, on average, 13,700 sexual harassment charges annually (between 2002 and 2008)  Decline in charges: from peak of 15,890 (1997) to 11,700 (2010)  EEOC found “reasonable cause” in fewer than 10 percent  EEOC settles ca. 350 consent decrees annually; of these between 25% and 33% address sexual harassment IWPR/Wage Consent Decree Database includes 502 sex and/or race discrimination consent decrees that became effective between 2000 and 2008; oversampled large cases.  Database is fully accessible and searchable  171 address sexual harassment, 55.5% of all sex discrimination CDs  30 (17.5%) also include race and/or national origin discrimination  All types of workers, especially in service sector  Several examples of sexual harassment in traditionally male jobs

3 All cases in databaseEEOC (N= 422) DOJ ( N= 45) Private (N=34) Sexual Harassment (SH) 35.5% (n=150) 33.3% (n=15) 17.6% (n=6) Class action/’similarly situated’? - individual plaintiff/not ‘class’ - more than one plaintiff/not ‘class‘ - class action/’similarly situated’ 30.7% 26.0% 43.3% 66.7% 6.7% 26.6% 0 100% Additional Charges - includes retaliation - includes constructive dismissal - includes termination 64.7% 34.0% 26.4% 33.3% 13.3% 50.0% 16.1% 33.3% -does not include pay, promotion or hiring discrimination charges 92.6%93.3%33.3% Consent Decree Database: Bases for Charges

4 Remedies in Sexual Harassment Cases (in %)

5 Sexual Harassment Remedies: Good Practice Examples Examples of consent decrees taking a broader approach – immigrant/migrant workers in agribusiness: EEOC v. Tanimura & Antle, C (N.D. Cal. Feb. 9,1999) EEOC v. Rivera Vinyards, Inc. d/b/a Blas Rivera Vinyards et al., No. EDCV (C.D.Cal. Sept.5,2003)

6 Sexual Harassment Litigation: Conclusions  Does litigation stop sexual harassment? Hard to develop good measures of sexual harassment as part of decrees. Attitude surveys? Role of outside groups  Supreme Court ruled that sexual harassment is employment discrimination. Is this reflected in the remedies? Stop harassment AND ensure equal opportunity  EEOC, by default, is main law enforcement agency against sexual harassment, even in cases of rape. Role of traditional law enforcement?


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