Harassment because of sexual stereotypes can form basis for Title VII lawsuit.

Several cases currently making their way through the legal system test whether Title VII's sex discrimination provisions cover discrimination based on sexual orientation.

In the meantime, remember that harassment based on sexual stereotypes is already illegal.

If you get wind that an employee is experiencing that kind of harassment, act fast to put a stop to it.

Recent case: Michael worked for a railroad, spending half a decade on the job with no apparent problems with co-workers.

Things changed when a rumor went around that he was gay. Suddenly, he began to be subjected to homophobic slurs. Then 30 railcars were vandalized with homophobic graffiti.

Michael complained, and managers said they would remove the graffiti and talk to co-workers. However, the name-calling and harassment continued and, in fact, got worse. Michael's locker was vandalized.

Then anonymous sources sent Michael a new phony company policy explaining that a "blankie" and pacifier would be...

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