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Harris v. Forklift


The Supreme Court defined sexual harassment in the workplace so that workers today can win lawsuits without having to prove that the offensive behavior left them psychologically damaged or unable to perform their jobs.

From April of 1985 to October of 1987, Teresa Harris worked as a manager at Forklift Systems, Inc., of Nashville, Tennessee, an equipment rental company. During this time her boss, Charles Hardy, subjected her to lewd remarks, sexual put-downs, and suggestive innuendoes.

For example, Hardy told her in the presence of several other workers, "You're a woman, what do you know," "We need a man as the rental manager," and "You're a dumb ass woman." Publicly, he suggested going "to the Holiday Inn to negotiate your raise." He threw items on the floor and demanded the women pick them up. Hardy would also harass female employees by asking them to remove coins from his front pants pockets.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1989 to 1994Harris v. Forklift - Significance, Harris Files A Lawsuit, Discrimination By Any Other Name, Justice Clarence Thomas, Further Readings