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Reasonable Person Standard

In cases of sexual harassment, the ‘reasonable person standard’ is absolutely critical in order for any company to tackle issues in their respective workplace. Without applying this standard to any allegation of sexual harassment, employers run the risk of allowing their own subjective opinions to potentially force a sexual harassment claim into the courtroom. This can result in hefty legal fees, bad publicity in the social media age, and crippling amounts of compensation paid to the victim.

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Reasonable Person Standard' Defined

When a case of alleged sexual harassment is presented before a court, the 'reasonable person standard' is often applied to the case to determine the following: if the same alleged sexual harassment happened to a hypothetically reasonable person, would the reasonable person have reacted in a similar way to the alleged victim? Moreover, if the same alleged sexual harassment was dealt with by a reasonable person in a position of management or leadership, would that reasonable manager have reacted and dealt with the alleged sexual harassment in a similar or different way when compared to management’s response?

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