The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that a job applicant who was promised a phony job by the job interviewer in exchange for sexual favors cannot maintain a viable sexual harassment claim under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. Wilson v. Cook County, No. 13-1464 (7th Cir.), February 10, 2014. The Seventh Circuit reasoned that neither the phony job nor any employment relationship ever existed and, therefore, the plaintiff could not establish a failure to hire claim or a sexual harassment claim.

A plaintiff must establish an employment relationship in order to prevail on a sexual harassment claim. In an employment discrimination claim in which a failure to hire is the adverse job action, there must be a job for which the plaintiff was not hired. Unusual case. Harsh result.