The opinion of the court was delivered by: Magistrate Judge Smyser
Background and Procedural History.
The complaint was filed on December 15, 2011. An amended complaint (Doc. 9) was filed. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint. The motion to dismiss has been briefed; a brief in support and a brief in opposition were filed.
The claims are claims of hostile environment sexual harassment and quid pro quo sexual harassment brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and a claim of retaliation against the plaintiff for exercising her Title VII rights.
The amended complaint (Doc. 9) alleges that plaintiff Jennifer M. Garelli is employed by defendant American Cancer Society-East Central Division, Inc. Her job is Community Cancer Control Specialist. James Kane is the Director of Income Development. Kane directly assigned work responsibilities to Garelli, and he was under the direct supervision of Regional Vice President JoAnn Sessa, who had authority to take positive or negative actions affecting Garelli's employment and career.
In November of 2010, Kane texted Garelli and asked her where she was. She told Kane where she was and that she was having dinner. He asked her whether he could stop over. She told him no. But he showed up, 15 minutes later. He was clearly intoxicated, and he pulled Garelli without her consent into a hug. He tried to order a beer for her, and he talked about work. He complimented her work performance. He told her that everyone in the office thought that she was ambitious. He told her that everyone thought that she was sexually involved with him. She was shocked by that statement. He told her that he could have sex with her if he wanted. He complimented her upon her physical appearance. He disparaged her boyfriend. He told her that if she were to sleep with him he could make things better for her in the workplace. He told her that she was not well liked by fellow workers and that if she were to sleep with him he could ensure that she would be well liked.
Garelli believed that Kane could influence Sessa as to matters affecting her career. Garelli rejected all advances by Kane.
Garelli's Director and Supervisor is Jim Mathieson. Garelli reported Kane's conduct to Mathieson. Mathieson instructed her to contact Human Resources. On November 17, 2010 Garelli met with Sessa and Michelle Ricks, a Human Resources representative. Garelli was told that the incident did not constitute sexual harassment because she "did not properly say no" and that she would be terminated if she talked about the incident to anyone. Ricks told Garelli that directors such as Kane and the employees were encouraged to socialize. Ricks characterized Kane's conduct as socialization. Garelli felt that Ricks implicitly pressured her to undergo future harassment.
After the November 17, 2010 meeting, Garelli was "pulled into a retaliatory and harassing meeting with Ricks", at least once a month for three months. Ricks laughed at her and mocked her. Ricks berated her. Ricks told her that it was her fault that Kane had harassed her. Ricks yelled at her. Ricks caused her to cry.
Kane was prohibited by the defendant from any interaction with Garelli. This was done by the employer in an effort to make Garelli's job more difficult. But, also, Ricks and Sessa attempted to force Garelli to interact and to meet with Kane to discuss professional conduct. She refused to meet with Kane. She was badgered and intimidated by Sessa and Ricks.
Garelli's work performance became difficult. She had previously had daily interactions with Kane. Now the defendant was deliberately creating obstacles to her performance of her fundraising obligations.
Ricks badgered Garelli and laughed at her on a regular basis. Garelli suffered emotional distress. It was difficult for her to go to work.
The amended complaint contains a count of hostile workplace environment sexual harassment, a count of quid pro quo sexual harassment, and a count of retaliation. Each count is brought ...