Dirty Jokes Admissible Against Sexual Harassment Plaintiff

Some of the women I know (like, the ones I hang out with) could make sailors blush.  I thought of them when I saw this.

A plaintiff in a hostile work environment case who claims that her boss' sexual innuendo was offensive and humiliating cannot block the jury from hearing about the dirty jokes found on her own workplace computer, a federal judge has ruled.

In such cases, U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter found, the plaintiff's own sense of humor -- in her e-mails with co-workers and friends -- may be relevant to the jury's inquiries about whether she would be offended by her boss' attempt at salty humor.

In her 17-page opinion in Seybert v. International Group Inc., Pratter denied a motion asking that all of plaintiff Susan Seybert's e-mails be deemed inadmissible.

Since a sexual harassment plaintiff must satisfy both an objective and a subjective test when aiming to show a hostile work environment, Pratter said, the defense lawyer must be given the right to explore the plaintiff's own workplace speech habits in an effort to undermine her claim that she was offended.

As a result, Pratter found that IGI and its lawyer, William T. Wilson of MacElree Harvey in West Chester, Pa., are "entitled to pursue the argument that the e-mails are relevant to Mrs. Seybert's possible appreciation of this type of humor, and specifically, whether she was subjectively offended by [her supervisor's] comment."

Source: Law.com - Dirty Jokes on Sex Harassment Plaintiff's Computer Ruled Fair Game