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Lower federal courts often fail to provide plaintiffs in sexual harassment cases the relief intended by Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964 and mandated by the Supreme Court when it recognized the cause of action twenty years ago. There is little doubt that sexual harassment in the workplace persists. However, lower courts misapply or ignore Supreme Court reasoning that would result in fairer and more consistent dispositions in hostile work environment sexual harassment cases. This article draws directly on reasoning from the Supreme Court cases to explain the sources of the confusion in the lower courts and offers jury instructions and guidelines to judges that reflect what the Supreme Court intended.


One word has been redacted from this document in order to protect the privacy of a party in one of the cases discussed. An un-redacted copy of the article is available from HeinOnline.