The District Court found that after being hired, the plaintiff received an employee handbook, which included the Employer’s policy on harassment and discrimination and watched an orientation video related to sexually harassment at work. The plaintiff claimed that the sexual harassment continued the entire two (2) years she was employed which forced her to submit a letter of resignation.
The plaintiff claimed she was subjected to quid pro quo (tangible employment action) and hostile work environment sexual harassment.
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While the claims are serious, if an employer has taken steps to protect against sexual harassment, it will be in a better position to defend itself.
The policy encouraged employees to report incidents of harassment to the regional manager, employee relations director, or human resources manager. To prove tangible employment action sexual harassment in violation of Title VII, the plaintiff had the burden of proving that the harassment culminated in a “tangible employment action” against her.


The Court determined that a defendant can avoid liability by establishing the Faragher-Ellerth defense to show that the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct promptly any sexually harassing behavior and that the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities that the employer provided. The employees were also given a toll-free complaint number to anonymously report incidents of sexual harassment. Shortly after the plaintiff submitted her resignation, she told a co-employee she intended to sue the employer for sexual harassment. The Court found that the plaintiff failed to take advantage of the employer’s preventative measures and that the employer established both elements of the Faragher-Ellerth defense. The co-employee notified her supervisor that the plaintiff intended to sue for sexual harassment.
The Court concluded that the plaintiff failed to establish a prima facie case of tangible employment action sexual harassment as she could not prove she suffered a tangible employment action for refusing to respond to her supervisor’s sexual demands.
The supervisor notified his supervisor who, in turn, notified the employer’s human resources department.


District Court of Alabama, located in Montgomery, Alabama, an employee filed a Title VII lawsuit alleging quid pro quo (tangible employment action) and hostile work environment sexual harassment and that the plaintiff was constructively discharged.
During the interview, the plaintiff never complained that any alleged sexual harassment was a reason for her leaving. The plaintiff filed suit against her employer, as well as against her immediate supervisor.
The employer also conducted a further investigation by questioning other females in the office.
The other females denied they had witnessed any sexual harassment or had been subjected to any incidences of sexual harassment while working.




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