ONCALE v. SUNDOWNER OFFSHORE SERVICES, INC.

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
96-568
Petitioner 
Oncale
Respondent 
Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc.
Opinion 
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
(On behalf of the United States, as amicus curiae, supporting the petitioner)
(Argued the cause for the respondents)
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Facts of the Case 

Joseph Oncale, a male, filed a complaint against his employer, Sundowner Offshore Services, Inc., alleging that he was sexually harassed by co-workers, in their workplace, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"). On appeal from a decision supporting a district court's ruling against Oncale, the Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Question 

Does the prohibition against sex discrimination, set out in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, apply to same-sex sexual harassment?

Conclusion 
Decision: 9 votes for Oncale, 0 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Civil Rights Act of 1964

Yes. In a unanimous opinion, the Court held that while Title VII does not prohibit all verbal or physical harassment in the workplace, it does bar all forms of discrimination "because of" sex. Such discrimination, whether motivated by sexual desire or not, is actionable so long at it places its victim in an objectively disadvantageous working condition, regardless of the victim's gender.

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ONCALE v. SUNDOWNER OFFSHORE SERVICES, INC.. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 19 June 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1997/1997_96_568>.
ONCALE v. SUNDOWNER OFFSHORE SERVICES, INC., The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1997/1997_96_568 (last visited June 19, 2014).
"ONCALE v. SUNDOWNER OFFSHORE SERVICES, INC.," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed June 19, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1990-1999/1997/1997_96_568.