Sexual Harassment: Psychiatric Assessment in Employment Litigation

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Overview

This comprehensive text stands alone in addressing sexual harassment from a forensic psychiatric perspective. Sexual Harassment: Psychiatric Assessment in Employment Litigation reviews the law, social science research, clinical experience, and principles of forensic evaluation relevant to the highly adversarial legal arena of sexual harassment litigation. This illuminating guide covers every aspect of psychiatric assessment in sexual harassment litigation: definition/legal history, bias/gender, credibility/malingering, "welcomeness," "reasonableness," causation, and emotional injury and damages. In an area where few training or educational opportunities exist, Dr. Gold presents a structured framework for these evaluations, including case examples that bring this framework to life.

No single response or specific psychiatric problem is associated with sexual harassment. Not all experiences of sexual harassment even constitute illegal employment discrimination. The term itself covers a wide range of behaviors, from annoying to traumatic. Likewise, the responses to such events, real or perceived, are broadly diverse. Further, the difficulties and ambiguities that arise at the interface of psychiatry, the legal system, and the social issues raised by sexual harassment make the application of psychiatric knowledge and expertise in such cases uniquely challenging.

This work provides invaluable assistance in helping mental health experts meet these challenges while also serving the legal system's goal of adjudicating disputes in the interest of serving justice. It emphasizes that experts should • Base their evaluations and testimony on a thorough evaluation of the issues in each case.• Acquire the intellectual tools needed, including familiarity with gender issues, the effects of stress and trauma, the scope and effects of sexual harassment, and an awareness of the potential biases that may influence opinions.• Understand the scientific basis of their testimony.

As the definitive work on the forensic psychiatric aspects of sexual harassment, this work explores and bridges the interface between the law, social science, psychiatry, and employment issues. This classic volume will provide invaluable assistance to psychiatrists and psychologists in formulating credible, well-reasoned opinions in an evolving and controversial area of the law. Other mental health professionals and educators, as well as members of the legal and human resources community, will also find that this in-depth study increases their understanding and appreciation of the complexities and challenges of psychiatric evaluations in sexual harassment litigation.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (University of Arizona Health Sciences Center)
Description: Written by a knowledgeable and competent forensic psychiatrist, this text discusses the relevant features of a complete psychiatric assessment in the area of sexual harassment in occupational settings, addresses historical perspectives on its development, and identifies important legal concepts relevant to this specific area of law.
Purpose: While infrequent to many evaluators, the number of these legal actions is growing. Yet, few understand the complexities of these cases or the sensitivity and self-reflection required to provide fact finders with the appropriate data to form an adequate decision. This book attempts to address these issues, and does so quite admirably.
Audience: Written primarily "to assist psychiatrists and psychologists in providing credible, well-reasoned opinions" in the area of employment related sexual harassment, this book may also prove useful to attorneys or other legal professionals practicing in the field.
Features: From introduction to conclusion, the author discusses various aspects of this litigation vital to understanding the issues in question. She cites case law and provides other useful references in order to broaden the reader's perspective. Most importantly, she addresses common misconceptions and identifies possible underlying evaluator bias, which could result in creditability problems if not addressed properly prior to participation in these cases.
Assessment: The first text of its kind, the author adeptly addresses multiple areas unique, and potentially treacherous, to this type of litigation. The chapters "Bias in the Assessment of Sexual Harassment," "The Assessment of Welcomeness," and "Psychiatric Diagnosis and the Assessment of Causation" are particularly enlightening and almost essential for a more complete understanding of sexual harassment litigation. This book is a must read for any mental health professionals participating in these evaluations, as it will be worth the time, effort, and expense.

4 Stars! from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585620128
  • Publisher: American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2004
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Liza H. Gold, M.D., is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Associate Director of the Program in Psychiatry and Law at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. She has a private practice in Arlington, Virginia.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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Table of Contents

Foreword. Introduction. The psychiatric expert in sexual harassment litigation. Sexual harassment: definition, legal history, and legal process. Bias in the assessment of sexual harassment claims. Gender, the workplace, and sexual harassment. Sexual harassment research, science, and Daubert. Special issues in and guidelines for the psychiatric evaluation and interview. Credibility assessments and malingering in sexual harassment litigation. The assessment of "welcomeness." The reasonable person and sexual harassment. Psychiatric diagnosis and the assessment of causation. Emotional injury and the assessment of damages. A framework for psychiatric evaluation in sexual harassment litigation. Case citations. References. Index.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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