The determination that sexual harassment constituted “discrimination based on sex” under Title VII was first made by the lower federal courts, not Congress. Drawing from the literature on policy diffusion, this article examines the adoption of hostile work environment standards across the U.S. Courts of Appeals in the absence of controlling Supreme Court precedent. The results bolster recent findings about the influence of female judges on their male colleagues and suggest that in addition to siding with female plaintiffs, female judges also helped to shape legal rules that promoted gender equality in the workplace.
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article:
Moyer, Laura P. and Holley Tankersley. "Judicial Innovation and Sexual Harassment Doctrine in the U.S. Courts of Appeals." 2012. Political Research Quarterly 65(4): 784-798.
which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1065912911411097.