This note demonstrates that a cognizable claim of sexual harassment may be predicated on a severe, yet isolated episode of sexual harassment. In this inquiry, we will look to other Supreme Court and Appellate Court decisions regarding sexual harassment law to support the conclusion that a single incident of sexual harassment can constitute an actionable hostile work environment claim. Part II traces the background of sexual harassment law, including what constitutes actionable discrimination and the applicable standards of a hostile work environment claim. Part III outlines the Supreme Court's analysis of actionable employment discrimination based on sexual harassment under Title VII, as well as the Court's establishment of the employer liability standard. Part IV explores the potential outcome of Paula Jones' appeal in the Eighth Circuit if the Court were to find the single incident of sexual harassment upon which her case was premised as actionable. Finally, Part V summarizes the previous sections and concludes that the Supreme Court's reiteration of hostile environment law during the midst of Paula Jones' appeal strengthened her claim of sexual harassment against.
Note, How the Supreme Court's Reiteration of Sexual Harassment Standards Affirmed in Faragher and Ellerth Would Have Led to Jones' Survival in Jones v. Clinton, 47 Clev. St. L. Rev. 231 (1999)