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11 Hastings Women's L.J. 107 (2000)
When Service with a Smile Invites More than Satisfied Customers: Third-Party Sexual Harassment and the Implications of Charges against Safeway

handle is hein.journals/haswo11 and id is 117 raw text is: When Service With a Smile Invites More than
Satisfied Customers: Third-Party Sexual
Harassment and the Implications of Charges
Against Safeway
Sarah L. Ream*
Sexual harassment in the workplace was once an accepted occupational
hazard for many working women. However, with the passage of Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 19641 and the numerous sex discrimination cases
that followed, most employees and employers recognize that sexual
harassment by supervisors or co-workers is intolerable and violates the law.
Many may not realize, however, that sexual harassment perpetrated by non-
employees such as customers, clients or independent contractors is also
prohibited. Recently, employees of Safeway, Inc., a major North American
supermarket chain, filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC) claiming that certain Safeway policies amounted to
acquiescence in, if not encouragement of, sexual harassment by customers.
If these employees are allowed to adjudicate their claims, third-party sexual
harassment will likely become the next frontier of sexual harassment
Part II of this paper summarizes the development of the law regarding
the two types of causes of action for sexual harassment-quid pro quo
and hostile work environment. The third section discusses third-party
sexual harassment, generally considered to be a subset of hostile work
environment harassment. The final two sections analyze the charges
recently filed against Safeway and the implications of such charges.
'B.A., University of California, Davis (1995); M.A., California State University, Fullerton
(1997); J.D. candidate, University of California, Hastings College of Law, class of 2000.
The author gratefully thanks Cary Zuk, Kimberly Jackson, Dominique Tauzin, Damara
Moore, and Bryan Baldwin for their editing and support.
1. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1) (1994).
2. See Amy Mathews, The Sexual Harassment Revolution: Employer Liability for Third
Party Sexual Harassment, 65 UMKC L. REv. 977, 979 (1997).


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