Characterizing its own precedent as “inconsistent” and “confusing,” the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, in a published opinion earlier this month, undertook to “clarify” the “correct standard” for establishing  a hostile work environment claim under federal anti-discrimination law (in particular, Title VII). Castleberry v. STI Group, No. 16-3131. To state such a claim, plaintiffs must show that the harassment they experienced was either “severe” or “pervasive”—they need not plead or prove that it is both. Following Castleberry, employers in the Third Circuit may face greater challenges in defeating hostile work environment claims on summary judgment.

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