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12 Hofstra Lab. L. J. 361 (1994-1995)
Third-Party Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: An Examination of Client Control

handle is hein.journals/hlelj12 and id is 367 raw text is: THIRD-PARTY SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN THE
Harassment is about Power - the undue exercise of power
by a superior over a subordinate.
- Fictional attorney, Louise Fernandez, consulting her client,
Tom Sanders, as Tom considers bringing a sexual harassment suit
against his female supervisor.'
As the specter of sexual harassment2 looms above today's
workplace, its presence undeniably haunts the consciousness of every
member of our labor force.3 The pervasiveness of sexual harassment
1. MICHAEL CRICHTON, DIScLOSuRE 183 (1993). As one will discover upon reading this
Note, power in the workplace can be exercised by more than just traditional supervisory em-
ployees, it can also be exercised by customers, clients, suppliers, and other non-employees.
2. Sexual harassment, most broadly defined, refers to the unwanted imposition of sexu-
al requirements in the context of a relationship of unequal power. CATHERINE A.
Civil Rights Act of 1964, Pub. L. No. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241 (codified as amended at 42
U.S.C. §§ 2000e to 2000e-17 (1988 & Supp. V 1993)) [hereinafter Title VII], which makes
it an unlawful employment practice for an employer ... to discriminate against any individ-
ual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because
of such individual's race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1)
(1988) (emphasis added), both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the judi-
ciary have interpreted a proscription against sexual harassment in the workplace. See Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines on Discrimination Because of Sex, 29
C.F.R. § 1604.11 (1994) [hereinafter EEOC Guidelines]; Harris v. Forklift Sys., Inc., 114 S.
Ct. 367, 370 (1993); Meritor Sav. Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57, 64 (1986); Williams v.
Saxbe, 413 F. Supp. 654 (D.D.C. 1976), rev'd on other grounds sub nom. Williams v. Bell,
587 F.2d 1240 (D.C. Cir. 1978) (recognizing for the first time in federal court a cause of ac-
tion under Title VII for workplace sexual harassment).
3. Since the October 1991 confirmation hearings for then-Supreme Court nominee Clar-
ence Thomas, the issue of workplace sexual harassment has steadfastly remained in the na-
tional limelighL Stacy J. Cooper, Note, Sexual Harassment and the Swedish Bikini Team: A
Reevaluation of the Hostile Environment Doctrine, 26 COLUM. J.L. & Soc. PROBs. 387,
387-88 (1993); see, e.g., Kathleen Murray, Workplace: Fighting Sexual Harassment Goes
Beyond Co-Workers, to Clients, WASH. POST, Feb. 28, 1993, at H2; Sexual Harassment at
Work Grows as Global Concern, WALL ST. J., Dec. 1, 1992, at AS; Helen Winternitz, Anita
Hill: One Year Later, WORKING WOMAN, Sept. 1992, at 21; Derrick Z. Jackson, After the
Thomas affair, progress-or silence?, BOSTON GLOBE, Oct. 20, 1991, at A37. It is also likely

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