Recent scholarship and media attention has focused on the prevalence of sexually harassing behavior directed at working teenagers, and the emergence of sexual harassment lawsuits by these minors against their employers. Although many of the legal issues concerning workplace sexual harassment and adult workers (and the various state and federal jurisprudence prohibiting it) have been widely discussed, there is surprisingly little discourse, research, and precedent addressing the problem of workplace sexual harassment and teen workers.
Currently, most sexual harassment cases brought by adolescent workers are litigated using the doctrinal framework for adult workers. Only the Seventh Circuit has developed an adolescent-specific framework, and it produces the same result as the law governing adult workers–it functions to maintain historically subordinating racial and gender hierarchies embedded in sexual harassment law. This Article uses legal construction to evaluate the developing law of sexual harassment claims brought by adolescent workers. Absent a deconstruction framework, adolescent-specific sexual harassment law will continue to perpetuate the very racial and gender subordination Title VII was passed to remediate.
Anastasia M. Boles, Centering the Teenage "Siren": Adolescent Workers, Sexual Harassment, and the Legal Construction of Race and Gender, 22 Mich. J. Gender & L. 1 (2015).