Male worker can sue for sexual harassment

A male airport employee can sue for sexual harassment where he received repeated romantic overtures from a female co-worker and the employer didn’t put a stop to it, says a federal appeals court in San Francisco. The company argued that this wasn’t “harassment” because most men in the employee’s position would have been flattered and delighted by the co-worker’s romantic interest. But the court said that even if “most men” would have been flattered, the question was whether this particular employee – a recent widower – welcomed the constant flirting.

The law against sexual harassment “is not a beauty contest,” the court said, and even if the co-worker “looks like Marilyn Monroe, [the employee] might not want to have sex with her, for all sorts of possible reasons.”