There are some common misconceptions regarding employment law as it pertains to various cases of sexual harassment. It is very important to contact lawyers such as Ty Hyderally who are experts in this arena. Many think that there is only one set way to deal with a situation where sexual harassment has occurred, or continues to occur. One important factor that must be considered is the company policy pertaining to such issues. According to employment law regulations the steps an employee must take when sexual harassment occurs should be clearly drawn out so that there is no misunderstanding. Employment law specialists such as Tayeb Hyderally must sort through the various circumstances regarding each individual situation to ensure that employees and employers are covered in such cases. One case that was somewhat different from the classic cases dealing with this issue is Gorzynski v JetBlue Airways Corp.
According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers are prohibited from harassing or discriminating against their employees because of their race, sex, religion, color or national origin. In cases where a supervisor harasses someone assigned to work under them the company must prove that they did everything within reason to correct the situation and prevent further instances. They may also have a defense if the employee that was harassed did not object to it or deal with the situation according to the company’s set policies regarding harassment. The difference in the Gorzynski case against JetBlue Airways was that the victim only complained to the harasser and to no one else in the company. Is that enough to build a case on? It would certainly depend largely on the company’s policies.
Diane Gorzynski was a crewmember for JetBlue Airways Corporation when she was subjected to sexual harassment. According to Ms. Gorzynski, James Celeste, her supervisor, made massaging gestures and stated he wanted to massage her breasts. He frequently made many different statements containing offensive sexual content; and making sexual gestures while on the job. He grabbed female crewmembers by the waste and tried to tickle them on several occasions. The Second Circuit agreed that his behavior possible created a work environment that was sexually hostile for Ms. Gorzynski.
It seems Ms. Gorzynski did comply with JetBlue’s policy regarding sexual harassment. According to the employee handbook it is to be reported to the immediate supervisor, another member of management or the HR department. Ms. Gorzynski objected to the sexual harassment to Mr. Celeste on many different occasions. However, she did not file complaints with anyone else when the harassment did not cease. Her reasoning was that the HR department had retaliated against other employees who had filed similar complaints at work; and other supervisors had been unreceptive to other complaints she had filed.
The initial claim for sexual harassment was dismissed because she did not complain to any other company agent. But the Second Circuit disagreed with this ruling and declared a jury would have to decide. It was upheld that each individual circumstance is unique. They also recognized the courage it took for Ms. Gorzynski to address the situation to her supervisor understanding that there could be retaliation. It was reasonable for her situation to not complain to another supervisor.