The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) sexual harassment guidelines and the Civil Act of 1964, indicate that Susan Parker was indeed sexually harassed throughout her employment at Plastech Industries. The EEOC has created a set of guidelines that determine liability. These EEOC guidelines say that “A key factor in determining liability is whether the employer has an effective internal grievance procedure that allows employees to bypass immediate supervisors (who are often the offenders)” (Making the Sale p.46). According to the EEOC and section 703 of Title VII in the Civil Act of 1964, sexual harassment is:
“ …sex discrimination not because of the sexual nature of the conduct to
which the victim is subjected but because the harasser treats a member or
members of one sex differently from members of the opposite sex.
However, it is the sexual nature of the prohibited conduct which makes
this form of sex discrimination sexual harassment” (EEOC Compliance
The two types of sexual harassment recognized today are known as “quid pro quo” and “hostile environment”. According to the EEOC guidelines, quid pro quo exists when “submission to or rejection of (unwelcome sexual) conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual”. Hostile environment exists when unwelcome sexual conduct greatly disturbs an individual and interferes with the individual’s job performance. Hostile environment also creates an intimidating workplace for all employees. (EEOC Compliance Manual)
The EEOC has also stated that a victim of sexual harassment need not say anything to any supervisor. Co-workers and supervisors are liable if any one knew or should have known that unprofessional conduct was occurring.
If it can be proved that the harasser knew what (s)he was doing was wrong, the harasser can be held responsible even though nothing about the matter was reported. As part 5 of section 615.2 (b) of the EEOC Compliance Manual states,
There is no requirement that the victim complain to the harasser or report
the sexual harassment to his/her supervisor or employer in order for the
employer to be held responsible for the unlawful conduct when the
harassment is committed by the supervisor. And … likewise, there is no
requirement that the victim complain to the harasser or report the sexual
harassment where the act is committed by a co-worker or a non-employee,
the employer will not be held responsible for the act unless it knew or
should have known that the act occurred and failed to appropriate
In the case of Susan Parker vs. Randy Louvenberger, the victim (Susan Parker) did not keep quiet about the harassment she received. Since the level of sexual harassment in Plastech Industries is demonstrably high, any competent supervisor should be able to recognize and eliminate the harassment.
Although her supervisor, Randy Louvenberger, ceased to harass Susan Parker after being confronted about his behavior, such a confrontation should not even have been necessary. Mr. Louvenberger’s comments about her playing hard-to-get indicate his recognition that Ms. Parker did not enjoy the suggestive remarks made by male Co-workers. In fact, this comment shows that he was aware that Susan Parker had declined the offers that she had received, and he should have known at that point that she was not interested in dating him.
When Susan Parker applied for a promotion, Randy Louvenberger denied it.
She stated in her testimony that she felt her loss of promotion was due to their earlier conversation regarding the inappropriateness of Louvenberger’s actions towards her. The fact that she made this statement may show that he gave her reason to feel this way. If Mr. Louvenberger did base his decision about the promotion on the fact that Ms. Parker embarrassed him, he is clearly in violation of part 2 of section 1604.11(a) of the EEOC Compliance Manual.
This section states that no employment decision may have any sexual favors implied. Randy Louvenberger’s earlier actions created a hostile environment for Susan Parker, and that is his primary violation of laws against sexual harassment. In the case of Henson vs. City of Dundee and Rogers vs. EEOC, the court ruled that the manager was guilty of sexual harassment even though the victim seemed to play along with the sexually inappropriate jokes. In .