shutterstock_285585374What do we care about a hostile work environment court ruling in Ohio? If you have been the victim of sexual harassment or a hostile work environment and told by someone that you can’t do anything because the company did not have notice prior notice, this ruling might open the door for change.

The ruling in Ault vs. Oberlin College stands for the proposition that an employee who was sexually grabbed from behind has the right to sue the company for creating a hostile work environment.

These types of cases were routinely dismissed in the past. Courts have long held that you must have more than one bad act in order to proceed with a claim.

How will this ruling affect employers and employees going forward?

  1. Employers must do a better job of training to explain inappropriate sexual advances in the work place.
  2. An employee with just one incident may have the right to make a claim against their employer.
  3. A hostile work environment may result from one incident instead of multiple incidents of harassment.
  4. Employers should not discount or sweep allegations of inappropriate conduct under the rug.
  5. Employers will need to have a policy in place to define the necessity for investigations when allegations of a hostile work environment arise.