Sharp v. S&S ACTIVEWEAR Music June 7, 2023, D.C. No. 3:20-cv-00654-
MMD-CLB See: Sharp v S&S

Constantly playing music in the workplace with sexually derogatory or violent content, can create a hostile or abusive environment and constituting discrimination because of sex. Harassment, whether by sound, or visual, does not need to be directly targeted at a particular person to pollute a workplace and create a Title VII claim. Nor is it a defense that the music offends many types of protected classes it prevents a Title VII claim.

Using commercial grade speakers, the defendant blasted songs’ which denigrated women and used offensive terms like “hos” and “bitches.” Songs like “Blowjob Betty” by Too $hort contained “very offensive” lyrics that “glorifie[d] prostitution.” Likewise, “Stan” by Eminem described extreme violence against women, detailing a pregnant woman being stuffed into a car trunk and driven into water to be drowned.

Employees sometimes mounted speakers on forklifts driving around blasting the music from unpredictable places. The defendant’s management defended the music as motivational and stood by its playing for nearly two years, until litigation loomed.