Sunday, January 26, 2020


Article Index

Paulette Barnes, Diane Williams, Sandra Bundy and Mechelle Vinson

In the ’70s and ’80s, the cases of these four black women—all government employees who had been sexually harassed at their respective jobs—helped expand civil rights protections to include sexual harassment as a form of sex discrimination. Before, legal definitions of sex discrimination were narrower, confined to outright assault or being denied employment because of one’s gender. These women’s individual lawsuits, and subsequent landmark legal victories, helped redefine protections for women in the workplace in ways that reverberate to today.