Can a bird be a sexual harasser?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A parrot walks into a bar. …

Not that one. The vulgar parrot in a nursing home.

Yep, I admit that I’ve used this story (many times!) to illustrate the issue as to who can be a sexual harasser, an issue raised again in a recent federal appeals court decision.

Anybody may be a workplace sexual harasser, I noted here before, not just coworkers or others employed by the same company. Actionable sexual harassment is not defined by who is doing it, but if there is a hostile workplace created that remains un-remedied when the employer has notice of it – irrespective of who is doing it.

Could be a co-worker. Could be the FedEx courier. Could be a client or customer. Or could be that 400-pound guy sitting on his bed in the basement that we’ve heard about (and sending dirty pics to your work email).

Read my latest Above The Law post which asks: Can a bird be a sexual harasser?

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Richard Cohen

Richard B. Cohen is a partner in the New York City office of FisherBroyles, LLP, a national law firm. Richard Cohen has litigated and arbitrated complex corporate, commercial and employment disputes for more than 35 years, and is a trusted advisor to business owners and in-house counsel both in the United States and internationally. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks, Pacific-rim corporations and real estate development companies, as well as start-up businesses throughout the United States. Email Richard at [email protected]