United States District Court, D. Nebraska
PATRICIA A. LAMBERTY, District Judge.
THIS MATTER came on for trial on April 22 and 23, 2015 on Plaintiff's Complaint for Sexual Harassment. Plaintiff was represented by Joy Shiffermiller of Shiffermiller Law Office PC LLO, and Defendant was represented by Heidi A. Guttau-Fox and George Martin of Baird Holm LLP. The parties Motion to Sequester was granted. Exhibits 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 20, and 101-115 were offered and received. Defendant's Motion for Directed Verdict was taken under advisement. The parties submitted briefs and the matter was taken under advisement.
Being fully advised in the premises, having reviewed the exhibits, briefs submitted by the parties and other legal authority, the Arbitrator finds and Orders Plaintiff's Complaint should be dismissed as hereinafter set forth.
Plaintiff brings this action pursuant to Title VII (42 U.S.C. 2000 e-5). Plaintiff was hired by Defendant in June, 2009, for an outside sales position in the Parts Department. (Ex: 1) Her supervisor in the Parts Department was Steve Mahoney. In September of 2009, Plaintiff made complaints to Defendant's regional manager about Steve Mahoney. (TR at 168-172; at 224-226; at 325-326) Following her complaint, Plaintiff continued to work in the Parts Department reporting to Steve Mahoney.
In February, 2010, Plaintiff complained again to a second manager of Defendant, specifically, of sexual harassment by Steve Mahoney. (Ex. 106) Defendant immediately conducted an investigation in February, 2010, (Ex. 107) and following the investigation Plaintiff was offered a position in the Body Shop Department. Plaintiff moved from the Parts Department to the Body Shop Department where she was supervised by Tom McFinch. She had no further contact with her previous supervisor Steve Mahoney. In June, 2010, Plaintiff was terminated by Defendant. (Ex. 20 at p. 11) Plaintiff filed a Charge of Discrimination with the NEOC. (Ex. 109) NEOC found the evidence failed to support the Charge of Discrimination. (Ex. 110)
Following the exhaustion of administrative remedies, Plaintiff filed suit against Defendant alleging sexual harassment on the basis of her sex. Plaintiff requests damages. Defendant has denied Plaintiff's allegation and is requesting its costs and fees incurred in defending the case.
Plaintiff worked for Defendant from June 15, 2009 (TR at 124) to June 2010, when she was terminated. Between June 2009 and February 2010, she worked in the Parts Department as a Sales Representative reporting directly to the Supervisor, Steve Mahoney. Plaintiff claims Mahoney sexually harassed her. (TR at 212)
Specifically, Plaintiff claims the following, as set forth in Exhibit 106:
Harassment from Steve Mahoney at Rusty Eck Ford
Submitted in writing 2/5/2010 to Julie Caples
Interview w/Ken & Steve
May 2009: During a conversation with Steve, I accidently said "play pen" when we were discussing the pay plan'. Steve said he liked what he heard about me being in the play pen and that we would get along just fine.
June 2009: I was introduced for the first time to Andrew Bangston, Tom White and Dave Novy. Steve introduced me as his new female' sales rep. Quote: "Just look at her... who wouldn't buy from her."
June 2009 - Robert Goday, Tom White, Dave Novy and Dianne Sherrill were in the parts department at about 4:30PM. Steve again referred to my female gender and made this comment to Robert... "that's why I hired her.... she doesn't need to know anything about parts when they look like that."
June 2009: On National Blonde Day, Steve commented that it was Ok if I made a mistake because it was National Blonde Day. Steve made the comment to Rod Flynn (Ford Sales Rep) that I wasn't really a blonde, that he knew ...