Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal


Philip McGough


In Nichols v. Azteca Restaurant Enterprises, the Ninth Circuit, overruling a twenty-two year old case, held that same-sex harassment based on gender stereotypes is actionable under Title VII. The court based this holding on the Supreme Court's 1989 opinion in Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins. However reasonable a reading of Title VII, the author argues that Nichols takes a major step beyond Hopkins, and resolves an issue not considered, even by implication, in the case. Further, same-sex harassment based on gender stereotypes is an issue sidestepped by the Supreme Court in Oncale - its only opinion to date dealing with same-sex harassment - leaving the issue for consideration in the circuit courts.

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